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Leeds Spatial Development Strategy

Spatial development strategy for Leeds

This study was undertaken at a time when regional planning was still regarded as important (i.e. prior to the abolition of regional spatial strategies by the coalition Government), and also at a time when Leeds was enjoying a relatively buoyant economy. The purpose was to explore plan-led growth in the Leeds sub region as part of a review of the regional strategy.

The study drew the conclusion that the "Leeds phenomenon" was connected to the growth of the financial services "cluster", but at least as strongly associated with successful exploitation of agglomeration economies.  Other factors may have included a pro-active attitude towards development prospects; the size and diversity of the city (compared to neighbouring towns and cities); and a reasonable balance of other sectors in the Leeds economy.

The economic growth was, however, putting an increasing strain on the transport system, and forecast growth would have meant this strain increasing over time. The study addressed this issue by including options for public transport orientated growth and a focus on Leeds city centre and other town centres for employment. This would help to alleviate the dominance of car-commuting and its attendant congestion and environmental problems.

As the report commented: "Transport policies all stress the objective of securing modal shift towards public transport, but this is not matched by land-use policies which follow that logic.  In addition, the low investment flow to public transport suggests that the means to achieve this shift are anyway difficult to identify."

The final report is available in the right sidebar (pdf).

LocationLeeds England
Team(s)Tim Pharoah with Llewelyn Davies


Leeds, spatial development, spatial strategy

images (2)

Districts in the Leeds sub-region
The final report

attached documents (1)

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