Until recently cities like Birmingham and Manchester have had lots of land to develop as the recovered from their post-industrial decline. But the problem that has now arisen is how to meet the demand for use without squeezing the cultural heart of city centres. Over the next 10 years, if they continue to attract high-paying jobs, centres may have to prioritise businesses; meaning that some new housing may have to move to the suburbs or green belt land.
Another solution may be to increase the density of UK city centres. However, controversial developments like this that have already taken place in the UK – such as the 30 storey St Michael’s development in Manchester – have sparked backlash and protests from the public.
Gentrification is another challenge; there are concerns that some people will lose out due to the changes happening in their community. To address this, education skills among everyone who already lives there must be improved and more affordable housing needs to become available to take account of different incomes.
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by Steve George