Urban partnerships, governance and the regeneration of Britain's cities

M. Carley

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    69 Citations (Scopus)


    Thirty years of initiatives have resulted in only partial achievement of the regeneration of Britain's manufacturing cities hard hit by deindustrialization. City centres and waterside districts have been regenerated, but much poor-quality housing and derelict land remains. Unmet social needs in inner cities are characterized by up to one-third of residents living in poverty, 40% male unemployment rates, and some households into a third generation of lifelong unemployment. It is for these reasons that the government recently established a high-profile Urban Task Force, headed by the architect Lord (Richard) Rogers. The task force confirmed what many regeneration practitioners and inner-city residents knew: That while the nation has become better at property-led regeneration, it has not cracked the hard nut of helping households disadvantaged by long-term unemployment or the inability to work. Almost all regeneration initiatives in Britain are now predicated on partnership between local government, business and voluntary organizations. There are at least 700 such urban partnerships, with as many as 75 operating in a single city at sub-regional, city-wide and neighbourhood levels. As the main organizational vehicle for regeneration, the effectiveness of these partnerships has become a factor in the achievement of the nations' urban policy objectives. The rise of partnership in Britain mirrors a broader concern around the world for government to work with civil society in the challenging task of urban governance. The findings of a study of 27 regeneration partnerships in nine city-region 'clusters' in England, Scotland and Wales are summarized. The findings include factors which directly influence the effectiveness of partnerships, and a group of governance factors. These influence partnership and regeneration outcomes, but are outside of the control of partnerships. They are as follows: The modernization of British local government, an emerging regional development framework and the need for effective national policy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)273-297
    Number of pages25
    JournalInternational Planning Studies
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


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