Area-based approaches to urban regeneration: innovation in vain? A comparison of evidence from the UK and Denmark
Citizen involvement, public participation, collaborative regeneration planning, partnership working and community engagement are all different ways of expressing the view that the importance of civil society in area-based urban regeneration is rising – and should be, according to the ambitions of policy makers. Nevertheless, despite the focus on process development and innovation in governance of municipal urban regeneration, evidence of innovative regeneration outcomes, of benefits to residents in disadvantaged neighborhoods, still remains elusive. The question is whether this is an expression of a fundamental inability to match projects of external origin with existing structures in the community, or simply evidence of a fundamental weakness in the area-based approach to urban regeneration. In the chapter this is analyzed by contrasting neighborhood and community, neighborhood branding and existing neighbor - hood resources, neighborhood change and displacement of residents, and finally by analyzing innovation in governance as bureaucratic cost. Using the basis of national evaluation studies in the two countries, this chapter provides a comparative analysis of UK and Danish experiences in the 1990s and 2000s with major programs of area-based and integrated approaches in urban regeneration. In addition to this, supplementary evidence from other European evaluations is also taken into consideration.