Planning inclusive and sustainable urban regeneration: Balancing a visitor-based economy with local needs in the city of York, UK

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This paper presents findings from the research project 'Inclusive and Sustainable Infrastructure for Tourism and Urban Regeneration' (InSITU). It has been conducted in historic urban areas where the physical environment is in need of regeneration and leisure and tourism can create new uses for redundant or under-used premises, generate jobs and stimulate investment. There is also a risk, however, that development may alienate the very people who are supposed to benefit most from regeneration. InSITU captured the knowledge, views and preferences of those who are likely to be affected, so that workable solutions can be designed and benefits maximised. This was achieved through the innovative application of Geographic Information Systems for Participation (GIS-P) to widen participation in urban design and heritage provision and allows that participation to feed more directly into the policy process. The paper outlines two cases in York. One demonstrates the role local people have in outlining the benefits and drawbacks of a public space, and change that might be made to it (problem definition). The second considers the role of local people in appraising the utility of a proposed cycle/pedestrian route on the site of a former factory (option generation/appraisal). The benefits and limitations of the GIS-P approach are assessed: benefits are inclusion of hard to reach groups in the process, ease and clarity of result dissemination and level of detail captured. Limitations include prioritising conflicting stakeholder concerns, the stage of the policy process at which stakeholders are consulted and the level at which this methodology and subsequent findings are useful (local/regional). Finally, an assessment is made of to whom these findings are useful (to policy makers and/or developers).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69 - 82
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


  • Participation, stakeholder engagement, Geographic Information Systems for Participation (GIS-P), tourism development

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