'It'll get worse before it gets better': Local experiences of living in a regeneration area

Gill Davidson, David McGuinness, Paul Greenhalgh, Paul Braidford, Fred Robinson

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The negative consequences of living in deprived neighbourhoods for residents’ quality of life are well documented. Area-based regeneration initiatives are invariably concerned with improving local quality of life over the long term. The process of regeneration, however, can itself directly result in immediate and potentially lasting negative effects for local communities. This paper discusses some of the ways in which living in an area undergoing regeneration can adversely affect inhabitants’ quality of life, including problems associated with voids, relocation, demolitions, environmental quality, complexity, funding issues, uncertainty, frustration, fear for the future and consultation fatigue. A case study approach draws examples from a deprived neighbourhood in the North East of England. The conclusion discusses some of the possible implications for future regeneration policy, including: the importance of ongoing communication between professionals and communities; the need to value local people’s experience, judgement and the contribution they can make to local decision-making processes; recognition that successful regeneration can take many years; and the implications of current UK government policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-70
JournalJournal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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