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After Urban RegenerationCommunities, policy and place$
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Peter Matthews

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447324157

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447324157.001.0001

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Microsolutions for megaproblems: what works in urban regeneration policy?

Microsolutions for megaproblems: what works in urban regeneration policy?

(p.61) Five Microsolutions for megaproblems: what works in urban regeneration policy?
After Urban Regeneration

Max Nathan

Policy Press

This chapter sets Connected Communities in the context of current thinking on local economic development in the 'post-regeneration' era. I briefly survey post-1997 state-led regeneration in the UK, tracing the shift in England from holistic neighbourhood-level social inclusion initiatives to economically-focused local growth programmes. Next, I highlight the various 'shocks' that have hit these regeneration models since 2007, and discuss where this leaves neighbourhood-level activity in particular. The theories of change invoked for such programmes suggest that their economic impacts will be small, but that interventions also have an important non-economic rationale. Getting a sense of ‘what works’ in urban regeneration is challenging, however, given the multifaceted nature of the programmes and underlying system complexity. The UK’s emerging experimentalist paradigm could generate a more convincing evidence base for neighbourhood-level urban regeneration, but there are real constraints to what localism and the 'what works' agenda can do, particularly under austerity.

Keywords:   cities, urban regeneration, local economic development, what works, neighbourhoods

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