While the recent global downturn has had a major impact on many national economies, the weakened economic setting has also negatively influenced many city centers throughout the world. It is important for these metropolitan areas to be resilient to changing economic times. One example of great economic resilience in tough times comes from the county of West Yorkshire, United Kingdom.
A recent study by the research firm Experian looked at two contrasting cities in the English county to determine what is most important for a city to be resilient to future economic shocks. The first city is Leeds, deemed the business hub and financial center of West Yorkshire. In the report, Leeds ranked 187th out of 324 U.K. cities based on their resilience to economic downturns. The city has a very large proportion of businesses in high growth sectors, such as their renowned high-tech manufacturing industry. These companies are considered to be very adaptive in harsh economic environments, and better able to survive a recession. This is quite apparent in the urban area, as you can see a bustling economy in and around Leeds.
The City of Bradford has not been so fortunate with the latest economic slump. This metropolitan ranked 279th in the same study, with a much gloomier outlook on the future. Economists believe that Bradford is extremely susceptible to long-term unemployment, mostly due to the large proportion of businesses in sectors that are vulnerable to economic shocks. This has caused many companies to go out of business, increasing the already unstable unemployment rate. A lack of trade has also contributed to their economic woes. The region is very dependent on domestic products, which has magnified the damage from a weakened local economy.
The economic downturn has harmfully affected many cities throughout the globe. The areas that have a sound business strategy in weak economic times are often able to strengthen and come out ahead. Metropolitan areas with strong high-growth industries, minimal vulnerable sectors, and abundant trade prospects appear to be best able to recover from the downturn relatively unscathed. Is your city suited to withstand the recent economic troubles?