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Title: Funding and financing urban infrastructure : a UK-US comparison
Authors: Strickland, Thomas Christopher
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis examines how urban infrastructure is funded and financed in cities in the United Kingdom and the United States. The thesis brings together the diverse and disconnected literatures on infrastructure, capital investment and urban development and creates a framework for understanding the changing landscape of infrastructure finance. Drawing on primary empirical research, this framework is then used to examine the funding and financing of infrastructure in the cities of Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield in the UK and Buffalo, NY, Chicago, IL, and Stockton, CA in the US. The objectives of the empirical analysis are: to explain the types of funding and financing being used within the case study cities and to identify emergent trends; to understand the multiscalar factors driving the adoption and use of those practices; to analyse the key mechanisms, processes and systems that are implicit in a range of capital investment strategies; and to explain the implications of the ways in which infrastructure is funded and financed for urban development within the case study cities. This thesis argues that the practices used for funding and financing infrastructure in cities are becoming increasingly financialised, and that this is having transformative implications for the urban environment. As such, the thesis makes four main contributions; first, it demonstrates how the process of financialisation is changing the ways in which infrastructure is funded and financed; second, it shows that financialisation is changing the politics of infrastructure and fuelling a process of reterritorialisation but, at the same time, that the state continues to have a major role in the funding and financing of infrastructure; third, it contends that the financialisation of capital investment is encouraged by instances of fiscal stress, and yet that it can also catalyse overaccumulation and cause further fiscal crisis; and fourth, it suggests that increasingly financialised models of infrastructure investment are reinforcing patterns of uneven development and causing an intensification in the process of urban splintering. More broadly, this research begins to address a gap in the literature on financialisation, which, to date, has been criticised for lacking sufficiently in-depth and fine-grained analyses of financial actors, markets and systems. In particular, the empirical evidence and comparative case study analysis illustrates that financialisation is not an overpowering and all-consuming behemoth but a highly variable process that is negotiated, managed and regulated in different ways in different geographical contexts.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

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