Scotland's Urban AGE 2022: Shocks to the System is a follow-up research study to Scotland’s Urban AGE: Aberdeen, Glasgow & Edinburgh in the Century of the City published in 2018 that had as its starting point a recognition that, in world terms, the future is urban and, by reviewing international trends, set Scotland and her principal cities within these trends to investigate how much these were reflected at home. We found that they were, but this wider view can be lost in local noise within the intra-Scottish urban system and UK and city league tables. We found that the AGE cities (Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh) have the potential to fare well in the international milieux, that they have more in common than separates them, and that they sit at the apex of an interrelated urban system in Scotland.
SUA-2 reflects on the COVID pandemic, engages with the challenges of the climate emergency and the sharp focus of COP26, and reflects on the legacy of the Global Financial Crash and Brexit. These have, and are, causing shocks to the system – and these interact. Together they stoke uncertainty and make already difficult challenges even more keen. The cumulative effects, without understanding, judgement and leadership, could be toxic for the cities and their peoples. We have therefore sought to bring together views on the shocks to the system (GFT, COVID, Climate Emergency and Brexit), the flux these are causing and the intrinsic resilience to handle these forces and, set out our thoughts around the scenarios and systems that may be helpful in navigating the uncertainty – and anxiety – that abounds.
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