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A step change or a step back? the thames gateway and the re-birth of the urban development corporations

  • Mike Raco
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    The delivery of the government's Sustainable Communities: Building for the Future proposals in the Thames Gateway area will be spearheaded by two new Urban Development Corporations (UDCs). During the 1980s and 1990s, UDCs were at the forefront of property-led regeneration in Britain and their impacts were extremely controversial. For some they represented a necessary institutional form that successfully facilitated and delivered regeneration to areas with chronic social and economic problems. For others they embodied a broader Thatcherite programme that marginalised local authorities and local communities from the heart of development planning. This paper examines their reintroduction and compares and contrasts the new agencies with those that existed in earlier decades. It argues that although the new UDCs will have broadly similar powers, the political contexts in which they are being established differ markedly. They are now expected to embed themselves into regional and national strategic development agendas and work in development partnerships with local authorities and local communities. The paper outlines the possible political and practical impacts that they will have and what their emergence tells us about the nature of Labour's broader modernisation agendas for local governance.

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    Article provided by Taylor and Francis Journals in its journal Local Economy.

    Volume (Year): 20 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 (May)
    Pages: 141-153

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:loceco:v:20:y:2005:i:2:p:141-153
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