Property-led Urban, Town and Rural Regeneration in Ireland: positive and perverse outcomes in different implementation contexts
In the mid-1980s fiscal incentives were introduced to encourage the construction and refurbishment of residential developments in declining inner city districts in Ireland. These were abolished in 2006 but, during the intervening period, their focus was extended to include: large towns; small towns and a large rural region. Concurrently the context for their implementation changed as economic boom replaced prolonged economic stagnation. This paper examines the changing design of these incentives, their outputs and their intended and unintended impacts. It argues that, initially they were successful in drawing development into declining neighbourhoods but the extension of their lifespan and spatial focus created negative perverse impacts and deadweight costs for the exchequer. Thus it concludes that this regeneration strategy is useful for animating development in brownfield sites, where there is demand for housing but also barriers to its development. If applied to rural areas where housing demand is weaker they can generate excess supply and limited benefits for public investment.
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