Property-led urban regeneration: panacea or placebo?
In recent years urban policy has come to rely increasingly on private-sector property development to provide the driving force. Popular opinion is sharply divided about the value of this approach. In this paper, an examination is made of five ways in which property could contribute to urban economic regeneration: through the direct employment effects of construction-related activity; by accommodating the expansion of indigenous firms; by attracting inward investment; by revitalising run-down neighbourhoods; and by initiating area wide economic restructuring. Appropriate property development can have positive economic effects but it has to be part of a more holistic approach that embodies concerns for people living in deprived areas and for the underlying condition of the local economy. Unrestrained market-led development may have detrimental consequences for the economic fabric of cities and for the quality of life of their residents.
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