Neighbourhood Renewal Policy and Spatial Differentiation in Housing Markets: Recent Trends in England and Denmark
This paper assesses recent policies and initiatives to promote neighbourhood renewal in the context of housing market change in two different policy environments - those of Denmark and England. The authors suggest that surface similarities in the recent urban policy discourses of the two countries tend to conceal deeper differences in the capacity of community-led neighbourhood-based initiatives to improve housing opportunities for local residents. The paper also suggests that comparative analysis of neighbourhood renewal policy has often been too firmly lodged at the national level, neglecting the complexities of 'multi-level' governance and uneven spatial development which are increasingly important in urban policy formation and delivery. The authors examine the diverse motivations for the recent policy focus on the 'neighbourhood' as an arena for intervention. They suggest that in England the impact of ever starker regional and sub-regional inequalities, problems associated with uneven economic growth, patterns of household migration and mobility, empty housing and cultural segregation extend well beyond the reach of the New Labour government's original urban policy agenda, in its concerns with 'capacity building', 'partnership working' and 'joined up governance'. There are now signs of a realignment in approach to impose a more strategic emphasis at a regional level of governance, although this remains underdeveloped in England. While Danish urban policy also has contradictory elements, there is a smaller gap between national government rhetoric and the strategy to improve specific localities, and the central role accorded to local government, which stands in contrast to recent English policy, has been a key aspect underpinning this process.
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Volume (Year): 5 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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