There is a growing recognition of metropolitan areas as complex systems that need to be managed more effectively to attain both local and national key policy outcomes. Whilst much European debate has focussed on the development of smart cities there is a recognition that more effective governance structures and systems are required to deal with complex problems in a context of fiscal autonomy.

In the UK the significant devolution of powers to regional scales has been significant of asymmetric and it has been reinforced in England and the devolved administrations with a cross part commitment to strengthen localism. This localism has developed differently in Scotland and England and quite different approaches to city policy have emerged. This seminar examines post 2010 developments in urban policies in Britain and assesses the ‘city deal approach’ driving change in England and compares it with the more cooperative ‘cities alliance’ framework emerging in Scotland.

The conclusions drawn about the strengths and weaknesses of UK experience are then used as a basis to reflect on the development of city strategies in Australia and Canada in recent years.

About Professor Duncan McLennan

Professor Duncan Maclennan is a Director of the Scottish Cities Knowledge Centre, was adviser to the Prime Minister of Canada’s Committee on Cities and Communities from 2004-2007 and a member of the COAG group assessing ‘The Future Planning of Australian Cities’ from 2010-12.

Professor Duncan Maclennan is an Honorary Adjunct Professor with RMIT’s Centre for Urban Research.

RSVP: RSVP required to cur@rmit.edu.au with the subject line ‘Duncan Maclennan Cities Seminar’ to allow for adjustments in room size.

Image by avery ng via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0


RMIT University, City Campus Building 15 Level 3 Room 03


Tuesday, 6th May 2014, 4:00-5:00 pm (followed by drinks and nibbles)