Economic prosperity is very unevenly distributed across space, both locally and globally. Tackling these persistent disparities is a key policy objective. The Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC) was set up in 2008 to provide a rigorous understanding of the nature, extent, causes and consequences of these disparities, and to identify appropriate policy responses. In 2015 it became part of the CEP's Urban Programme.
SERC's aim was to provide high quality independent research to further understanding as to why some regions, cities and communities prospered, whilst others did not. Our research programmes explored disparities, their effects and potential remedies at all spatial levels including regional, city-region, local and neighbourhood. We also aimed to influence and improve policy decision-making at the international, national and local levels, connecting policy makers with international expertise, research and good practice in diagnosing and tackling such differences.
Part of our research focussed on the UK and other developed economies. We also examined the patterns, causes, consequences, and policy implications of the spatial development of cities in developing countries, particularly sub-saharan Africa.
SERC was funded between 2008 and 2014 by grants from the Economic and Social Research Council, Department for Business Innovation & Skills, Welsh Assembly Government and the Department of Communities and Local Government (between 2008 and 2011).