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Are neighbourhoods dynamic or are they slothful? The limited prevalence and extent of change in neighbourhood socio-economic status, and its implications for regeneration policy

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JournalURBAN GEOGRAPHY
DateAccepted/In press - 17 Dec 2014
DateE-pub ahead of print - 25 Feb 2016
DatePublished (current) - 2016
Issue number5
Volume37
Pages (from-to)769-784
Early online date25/02/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article describes what we know about neighbourhood change, and regeneration policy intended to encourage it, using the example of the past 15 years in England. Then it introduces new data on unemployed and middle-class residents as a proportion of all residents in all neighbourhoods in England and Wales over the periods 1985–2005 and 2001–2011. Neighbourhoods are generally slothful rather than dynamic. Thus, we should expect significant change for significant numbers of neighbourhoods only over the long term, and longer time periods than standard for regeneration policy time. This provides important new context for policymaking and evaluation. In this context, we could see the best of neighbourhood regeneration as remarkably successful in creating measureable change against the odds, and as a very valuable part of public policy. Alternatively, we could also see neighbourhood regeneration policy as generally doomed to fail to transform the relative position of neighbourhoods, and as not worth pursuing.

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    Research areas

  • urban regeneration, socio-economic status, neighbourhoods

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