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Mixing the Market: The Role of the Private Sector in Urban Regeneration in Ireland


  • Mary Lee Rhodes


This paper examines the role and impact of the private sector in urban regeneration and social housing in Ireland in the context of a shift towards mixed market models adopted by governments in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. A complex adaptive systems (CAS) framework is used to analyse six case studies in urban regeneration in order to coherently address complexities related to heterogeneous objectives, issues of interdependencies among actors, system dynamics, emergence and adaptation over time. Key findings include: (1) the lack of influence by the private sector over key elements such as boundaries, rules and objectives for urban regeneration in Ireland, (2) a relatively narrow focus on the physical aspects of regeneration, with little support from either the public or community sectors for a wider role, (3) a trade-off between decreasing costs borne by the taxpayer and increasing costs to social housing tenants, (4) the emergence of special project agents to facilitate 'covenanting' among participants (Klijn & Teisman, 1997) and (5) the potential for a 'tipping point' in private sector participation (Rhodes & Murray, 2007).

Suggested Citation

  • Mary Lee Rhodes, 2009. "Mixing the Market: The Role of the Private Sector in Urban Regeneration in Ireland," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 177-200.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:9:y:2009:i:2:p:177-200
    DOI: 10.1080/14616710902920272

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