The vital contribution of our towns and cities to economic, social and cultural well-being is at the heart of government policy making at local, national and international levels. At the same time the need to understand the changing nature of cities is increasingly important. This book provides, in a single volume, a review of the findings of the largest ever programme of cities research in the UK, the Economic and Social Research Council's 'Cities: Competitiveness and Cohesion programme'. Leading experts present the findings of this wide-ranging programme organised around themes of competitiveness, social cohesion and the role of policy and governance. The book: develops our understanding of key processes, issues and concepts critical to cities and urban change; examines a large body of evidence on a wide range of policy issues at the heart of current debates about the performance of cities and the prospects for urban renaissance. City matters is essential reading for all policy makers, practitioners, analysts and academics with an interest or involvement in urban issues.