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What works?Evidence-based policy and practice in public services$
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Huw T.O. Davies, Sandra M. Nutley, and Peter C. Smith

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9781861341914

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861341914.001.0001

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Urban policy: addressing wicked problems

Urban policy: addressing wicked problems

(p.206) (p.207) Ten Urban policy: addressing wicked problems
What works?

Tony Harrison

Policy Press

Of all the areas discussed, urban policy perhaps faces some of the most formidable problems in identifying what works. Nonetheless, this chapter shows that the rhetoric of evidence figures large in the justification of many of the schemes aimed at improving the urban environment. Evaluation of the success (or otherwise) of many such schemes has been attempted. The chapter concentrates on policy directed at the multifaceted problems of cities, in particular those concentrated in specific neighbourhoods where problems of housing, health, employment, and crime seem to reinforce each other and demand a multiagency approach. Naturally enough, methodological problems are legion – in particular, identifying suitable outcomes, identifying unwanted effects or displacements, and making causal attributions between any outcomes obtained and the activities undertaken. The response has been a growing body of case material, which provides rich individual accounts but few robust generalisations.

Keywords:   urban environment, urban policy, city problems, crime

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