锘? The first such duo is Warsaw and Lodz who share a mirror
image with London and Birmingham respectively. Where London
boomed in the seventies and eighties Birmingham struggled Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping
its industrial heart out-competed by a global economy. Old
factories lay dormant and the property market stagnated ...
until lofts became fashionable and London became just too
expensive for many individuals and businesses.
In comparison Warsaw boomed from the late nineties onwards
and its property prices soared. Banks, businesses, law firms
and consultancies are all making this city their epicentre
for central European operations. Since the millennium the
airport has been one non-stop building site as it tries to
keep up with rising demand. In the meantime Lodz went into
recession and saw large scale decline to its identity as a
But, like Birmingham, things have started to change. Warsaw
is becoming expensive and Lodz is only 100 kilometres away
yet its real estate is half the price of the capital. And
like Birmingham transforming 19th century industrial
buildings has become viable. A derelict brewery has become a
shopping centre, a disused cotton factory converted into
Perhaps one of the reasons for the similarity between Lodz
and Birmingham is down to the people. Both are proud of
their home town, both are keen to show visitors "the real
city", both have lived through hard times in living memory.
Lodz is still cheap, but probably not for much longer.
The next pair has to be Krakow and Katowice, uncanny in
their relation with Edinburgh and Glasgow. Edinburgh has
always been easy for tourists to understand, the
architecture instantly likeable and its well-to-do image
centuries old. Glasgow on the other hand was the ugly
sister. A powerhouse of the industrial revolution with the
pollution and poverty that went with it.
Today Glasgow has more art galleries and museums per square
mile than any other metropolis in Britain. It has been
European City of Culture and European City of Architecture.
Its music and theatre scene is breathtaking. While Edinburgh
is historic, Glasgow is diverse.
Krakow Cheap China Jerseys
, like Edinburgh, is instantly tourist friendly with
its vast old town. It is understandable why real estate
prices catapulted here. According to the Royal Society of
Chartered Surveyors they actually rose faster in Krakow than
any other European city between 2005 and 2006. Today there
are plenty of trendy bars and shops but, to steal a Scottish
phrase, "all different but the same".
Krakow is a historical city and while this has brought much
wealth it could now become a restraint. All too often there
is a mentality in the air that anything new should fit the
old. There is a quiet resting on laurels, Why do you need to
try when your town centre is stunning? So true for Krakow
and so true for Edinburgh.
Head west up the motorway from Edinburgh and you will find
Glasgow, do the same from Krakow and you will find Katowice.
As with Glasgow the manufacturing base in Katowice
disappeared, albeit in the nineties. The demise of the
pollution producing commerce bought poverty but since the
turn of the millennium it has been quietly reinventing
itself. Unlike Krakow, and just like Glasgow, it has no
stereotyping chains. It can be anything it wants, it can be
more diverse and more interesting than Krakow.
Once again it is clear that the people often make a town. In
Glasgow you are first a Glaswegian, then you are Scottish
and then (perhaps) you are British. In Katowice first you
are 'from the Slaskie', then you are Polish. 1 Cheap Jerseys China
apart two populations share the same fierce pride over their
identity and the same historic routes as urban areas of
heavy industry not far from somewhere much prettier.
On a final note of similarity most British people still
think Glasgow is not worth a visit, and most Poles would say
the same of Katowice. Old images run deep in every country.
The last two pairs are London and Norwich and their
counterparts Warsaw and Lublin. Norwich is a sleepy, rural
city with a glorious old town and a buzzing student
population 115 miles from London. Lublin is a carbon copy
101 miles from Warsaw.
Property price rises in Norwich were not caused so much by
the indigenous population but by rich retirees to begin with
and then later because, due to better trains, the city fell
within the commuter belt of London.
A better lifestyle, more countryside, a beautiful centre and
a slower pace of life all attracted people out of the
capital to the Norfolk Broads and so it could be for Lublin.
But Lublin could go even further. The coming of a new
international airport and the government's plans to use EU
funds as a lever for promoting this area as a tourist
destination means it holds far more Eastern promise over the
Three cities - Lodz, Katowice and Lublin. They are the
Birmingham, the Glasgow and the Norwich of the past. In ten
years time it will all be rather obvious but today the
history of a few British towns actually provides the elusive
crystal ball so many property investors hanker after.