Leipzig and Manchester are superficially very different cities. Leipzig’s Communist government ran down its industrial base, which almost disappeared after German reunification. Manchester, one of the world’s oldest industrial cities, suffered no such fate. Yet these cities’ history and condition show remarkable parallels.

Both have experienced deindustrialisation and out-migration; and both are recording abandoned housing. With this in mind, both cities face a challenge: can they offer an attractive environment and lifestyle plus affordable services and housing to families with children who represent much of the future demand?

The Institute of Community Studies (now The Young Foundation) was funded by the The Anglo-German Foundation to conduct a parallel study of Manchester. Through their work, the authors demonstrate that the present stemming of massive population losses is a fragile solution, not least because nearby suburban areas are often able to offer housing choices and levels of liveability that are not necessarily available within the city boundaries. In many instances it is possible that even where the cities offer exciting career opportunities, they may not benefit from an increase in residents.

YF Heritage Collection

Posted on: 18 September 2004

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