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Paul Buchanan speaks at the RTPI 2014 Planning Convention

Paul Buchanan speaks at the RTPI 2014 Planning Convention

Paul's central argument is that economic growth is coming primarily from cities. We have been witnessing this trend for the last 50 years and it looks as if it will continue. The dominance of cities is increasing in population terms and even more so economically. The planning industry needs to be thinking about how they can accommodate such dramatic growth in our cities.
Bridget talks about North-East Growth on BBC Radio 4

Bridget talks about North-East Growth on BBC Radio 4

Volterra's senior partner Bridget Rosewell was recently interviewed for Martin Wainwrights series on BBC Radio 4 'The Myth of the North'. The programme considered how the stereotype that life is 'grim' in the north of England is vastly outdated, focusing on the region's industry and culture in the 21st century. Bridget was interviewed in the final episode which focused on the manufacturing industry in the North East, drawing on Bridget's experience from her work with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.
HS1-HS2 Camden Link

HS1-HS2 Camden Link

Volterra has recently completed a report assessing the options for the HS1-HS2 link for Camden Town Unlimited. We argued that the proposal to run a single surface level track through Camden was ‘an unconvincing compromise’: HS2 Ltd should either build a full twin track tunnel under Camden or build nothing at all. The proposal was a half measure which imposed significant costs with limited benefits. Our work reviewed costs, impacts during construction on local businesses, residents and road and rail users. Less than a week after our report was published, Sir David Higgins, the new chairman of HS2 Ltd, delivered his ‘HS2 Plus’ report with his visions for HS2. In this report, he describes the proposed HS1-HS2 Link as ‘an imperfect compromise’: perhaps a reference to our report! Read the HS2 Plus report here, and our report here
A City-Centre HS2 Station for Sheffield?

A City-Centre HS2 Station for Sheffield?

Volterra has been supporting Sheffield City Council in making the case for a city centre HS2 station. We have examined the benefits of locating the city’s HS2 station at Victoria within the city centre, instead of the site at Meadowhall currently promoted by HS2 Ltd. Our findings suggest that the economic, employment and regeneration benefits of a city centre station would far exceed those from a parkway station. Similar international case studies have also demonstrated that city centre stations perform better than out of town stations, with parkway stations often failing to generate significant economic activity. Analysis of the Sheffield economy has shown that a city centre station would support 6,500 more jobs, worth up to £5 billion in additional GVA growth for the city region. Sheffield City Council have used our findings to help formulate their response to the Government consultation on HS2’s preferred route and stations. Read more about the case here, read our report in full here, and read Sheffield City Council’s response here.
Bridget looks at how technology shapes the capital

Bridget looks at how technology shapes the capital

Volterra’s senior partner Bridget Rosewell has recently written an article for TechCity Insider – a publication centring on the people, issues and companies defining the next generation of digital business in and around east London. Bridget’s article concentrates on how technological advances have historically forced change on London and how she believes London needs capacity for opportunities that we are yet to conceive! Read the article in full here. In other news we are thrilled to announce that Bridget was made an honorary fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers last month.
Paul Buchanan: should we centralise employment growth?

Paul Buchanan: should we centralise employment growth?

Volterra partner Paul Buchanan recently spoke at an infrastructure seminar in Cardiff organised by the Transport Statistics Users Group. Paul suggested that Cardiff should concentrate on redirecting its employment growth to one centre. Research has shown that economies benefit when employment is concentrated in central locations, improving workers’ productivity. Paul drew on his experience researching the economic benefits of London’s Crossrail, which secured funding after it was shown that its function in allowing more people to travel to a central location to work would deliver more prosperity in the long term. Read more about Paul’s contribution to the seminar in Wales Online and the Surveyor magazine.
Prospects for Property 2014

Prospects for Property 2014

Volterra have a long and successful partnership with Strutt & Parker, acting as their exclusive in-house economic and research functions. At their recent annual event ‘Prospects for Property’, Volterra partner Paul Ormerod presented the outlook for the UK Economy and commercial and residential property sectors. Speaking to an audience of over 200 investors and property professionals, Paul outlined Volterra’s latest forecasts for the office, retail and industrial sectors. Paul was positive about the outlook of the economy and emphasised the need to believe in the recovery. Read more about the event here and view the slides that were delivered on the day here.
Bridget and the city

Bridget and the city

Many thanks to those of you that attended Volterra senior partner Bridget Rosewell’s lecture and book launch last week at Centre for London. If you still haven’t got your copy of ‘Reinventing London’ you can buy one here. Bridget’s connection with cities economics continues with her recent appointment to two expert panels that examine future possibilities for UK cities. The City Growth Commission, recently launched by the RSA, will investigate how Britain’s cities can become engines for growth to ensure that all regions are part of the UK’s economic recovery. Read more about the commission here. The London Infrastructure Group will assess the capital’s strategic infrastructure requirements to 2050, addressing such questions as airport capacity, policy towards green belt and densification change and how London’s projected population growth might be accommodated by the building of new towns. Read more here.
Paul speaks to the Polish Council

Paul speaks to the Polish Council

Volterra partner Paul Ormerod was recently invited to speak to the Polish Economic Council, the top decision making body on the economy in Poland. He spoke about the importance of psychology and narratives in the economy. For example, as quantitative easing is wound down, the same act can lead to quite different outcomes, depending upon the narrative which emerges around it. Different people form different opinions about events such as these, and it is the one which succeeds in spreading successfully which counts. Paul says, ‘Poland is Europe’s most successful economy, they were the only ones to avoid a recession. One reason is surely the fact that even top decision makers are willing to listen to innovative ideas.’ Read Paul's recent blog on what we can learn from the Polish economy here.
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