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Property-led Urban, Town and Rural Regeneration in Ireland: positive and perverse outcomes in different implementation contexts


  • Michelle Norris

    (Geary Institute, University College Dublin, School of Applied Social Science, University College Dublin)

  • Menelaos Gkartzios

    (Centre for Rural Economy, School of Agriculture, Food & Rural Development, Newcastle upon Tyne)

  • Dermot Coates

    (Housing Agency, Cumberland House, Dublin 2)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Michelle Norris & Menelaos Gkartzios & Dermot Coates, 2013. "Property-led Urban, Town and Rural Regeneration in Ireland: positive and perverse outcomes in different implementation contexts," Working Papers 201311, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201311

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Morgan Kelly, 2009. "The Irish Credit Bubble," Working Papers 200950, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    2. Patrick Honohan & Brendan Walsh, 2002. "Catching Up with the Leaders: The Irish Hare," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(1), pages 1-78.
    3. Michael Keane & Eoghan Garvey, 2006. "Measuring the employment effects of the rural renewal tax scheme," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(3), pages 359-374.
    4. FitzGerald, John, 2005. "The Irish Housing Stock: Growth in Number of Vacant Dwellings," Quarterly Economic Commentary: Special Articles, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), vol. 2005(1-Spring), pages 1-22.
    5. Colin Jones, 1996. "The Theory of Property-led Local Economic Development Policies," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(8), pages 797-801.
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    More about this item


    tax expenditures; property development; regeneration; urban decline; rural decline;

    JEL classification:

    • R5 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis

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