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Investing in regional equality – lessons for ‘levelling up’ from Fukuoka

New research conducted by City-REDI at the University of Birmingham for the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has been published, with the Japanese city of Fukuoka one of four case studies examined. The research concludes that policies designed to address regional inequalities are most effective when they are tailored to local communities’ needs, as opposed to a national and centralised approach.

Based on a comparative analysis of approaches used to reduce inequalities in four city regions from across the globe, the report examines how Fukuoka, along with Leipzig (Germany), Cleveland (USA) and Nantes (France), achieved success in regional revitalisation and rebalancing. The report, with input from JLGC’s Head of Policy and Research Andrew Stevens, finds that key to Fukuoka’s urban success story was a strong mayoral vision based around:

  • an ambition to become the start-up capital of Japan and an international destination for entrepreneurs
  • creating a specialist economic cluster based on previous strengths
  • the pursuit of an open campaign toward international immigration within the context of a tighter national framework

The report can be accessed via the CIPFA website.


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