Opportunity breeds prosperity
People in larger places have more incentives and opportunities. They work more and learn more, and their learning helps them work more efficiently, which is why cities tend to prosper where small towns and villages struggle. The towns which have come together to form ConnectedCities have benefited in two ways:
Vision from 2050
Businesses – Most growth in the past 35 years has occurred in ConnectedCities. New industrial parks and employment areas are invariably located in a pedshed, guaranteeing excellent access to their workforce and distribution networks.
Government incentives for businesses setting up or relocating in pedsheds are not so generous as to attract businesses which have no reason to move, but the environmental and economic benefits for the whole country of linking growth to a highly efficient transport system have been so great that administrations of all political persuasions have supported them.
Many ConnectedCities have a local rail freight interchange which is often one of the largest employers in a new green town.
Commuting – Most people living in a ConnectedCity work in their city or a neighbouring one. Even close to the metropolis ConnectedCities are not dormitories for commuters, but have a balance of jobs and homes.
The redistribution of population and jobs means that long commutes into metropolitan cities are less common than they were, but they still exist where households have members working in widely different places.
Lifestyle – Prosperity is more than just money: it is quality of life. ConnectedCity residents enjoy the benefits of easy access to an urban lifestyle yet they live in close proximity to countryside. Together with much easier walking/cycling, and settlements with strong communities, the result has been a noticeable reduction in stress. People live longer, but there is little unemployment as the increased efficiency means society can afford extra jobs like mending roads, teaching and elderly care that benefit society but are not directly wealth-creating.
The city centre – The residents of a ConnectedCity have gained a first-class city centre in the hub town, where shops, cafes, offices, hotels, events venues, learning centres, leisure and cultural facilities harmonise with urban dwelling. In large hub towns new development also occurs along tentacles and sometimes in new green quarters.