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Regeneration and networks in the Arts District (Los Angeles): Rethinking governance models in the production of urbanity


  • Sébastien Darchen


This article analyses the governance arrangements underlying the regeneration process of a central area in Los Angeles from the 1970s until now. The Arts District is emblematic of this rising interest from developers in central places that were just 45 years ago either ‘no man’s land’ or illegally occupied by artists. The analysis applies three main governance models that have been used in contemporary research to explain urban regeneration processes – Private type; Bottom-up; and Consensus-building – to look at the following research question: Are these models sufficient to characterise regeneration processes in the network society context? Data for the analysis were collected through semi-structured interviews with social actors as well as from policy documents related to adaptive re-use. The main finding is that the governance arrangements during the main phase of the regeneration of the area do not fit with the governance models utilised for the analysis. A group of new entrepreneurs are active in re(scaling) processes: they use ‘spaceless’ interactions – professional networks at the national scale – to influence the evolution of the area. The ANT framework is used to analyse why and how these networks play in the regeneration process. The innovative regeneration process is like a ‘translation’ process where professional networks play an important role in ‘enrolling actors’ but also in ‘circulating the translation’, thus establishing this regeneration model at the national scale in America.

Suggested Citation

  • Sébastien Darchen, 2017. "Regeneration and networks in the Arts District (Los Angeles): Rethinking governance models in the production of urbanity," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 54(15), pages 3615-3635, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:54:y:2017:i:15:p:3615-3635

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