Birmingham is one of a number of British cities undergoing "positive growth" after decades of decline, a Europe-wide study found yesterday.
London, Manchester and Leeds also all bucked trends of long-term degeneration with the dawn of the new millennium.
But it was a mixed picture as Glasgow, Liverpool and Newcastle remained mired in sustained decay, according to researchers.
More than 300 cities across Europe with populations of more than 200,000 people were the focus of the study by Glasgow University.
Report author Professor Ivan Turok said: "National capitals and other large cities have enjoyed most success in recent years.
"Size matters and business growth demands places with excellent connectivity, thick labour markets, attractive environments and high-quality services."
The study identified "resurgent" cities, mostly in the UK, which were expanding again after long periods of decline.
London, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham had bounced back after severe deindustrialisation in the 1970s and 1980s.
They revived their fortunes by developing strong financial, business and consumer service industries, the study found.
These urban centres were also attracting more university students, young professionals and immigrant workers.
But 13 cities were found to be experiencing long-term decline and three - Glasgow, Liverpool and Newcastle - were in the UK.
The study did note that employment had grown in these three British cities.
But it found population trends had been slow to catch up and fill all the job vacancies.
The researchers said only one in three cities - mostly in France, Spain and Germany - had enjoyed sustained growth over the last four decades.