Policy mobilities, politics and place: the making of financial urban futures

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The comparative and extrospective nature of contemporary urban policy-making is one that has demanded our attention in recent years. Relatively long established and formal inter-urban networks of professionals of one sort or another have been joined by activists, consultants, financiers, lawyers and think tankers who have involved themselves in the arriving at, and making up of, urban policy. Through conferences, documents, knowledge banks, policy tourism, power-points and webinars, an emergent informational infrastructure has emerged to shape and structure the circulations and making of policy-making across a numbers of areas. From aging to creativity, climate change to drugs, education to transport, urban policies in different spheres have been rendered mobile. There is political work of adaptation, mediation and translation that has to be done to move policies from one location to another, of course. In some cases these policies appear in a range of locations, while in others they do not, a reminder – if one was needed – that those involved in the making up of policy are not always able to render all elements of the future under their control. This emphasis on the relational and territorial geographies of global-urban policy-making captures some of the issues facing those who lead cities. This paper sets out some of the intellectial challenges for those working on these issues, highlighting some potentially fruitful ways forward, illustrating the main arguments through the use of Tax Increment Financing, a financial value-capturing model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-283
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Urban and Regional Studies
Issue number3
Early online date19 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Policy mobilities
  • Tax Increment Financing
  • urban policy
  • value capture


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