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Creating sustainable communities in 'NewcastleGateshead'

By ELIZABETH ANDREA ARMSTRONG

Abstract

This thesis focuses on one of the most controversial and ambitious urban regeneration policies of recent years – the plan to create sustainable communities via Housing Market Renewal Pathfinders (HMRP). Announced as a ‘step change’ in urban policy to overcome problems of low demand and abandonment experienced most acutely in nine former industrial towns and cities in the north and midlands of England, the Sustainable Communities Plan (SCP) (ODPM, 2003a) involves the demolition and relocation of mainly white, working class inner-urban communities. This thesis focuses on a year long moment in the process of regeneration in one such HMRP in North East England, known as ‘Bridging NewcastleGateshead’ (BNG) and draws from rich, detailed ethnographic case studies of three former industrial communities. \ud \ud Originally, the thesis draws together critical engagements with the concepts of space, governance, community, sustainability and materiality to develop a relational understanding of urban regeneration. Starting with an understanding of ‘spaces of regeneration’ as spaces in the process of becoming this perspective moves beyond normative, prescriptive understandings of spaces as static and contained and subject to the process of spatial regulation from above i.e. power over. Rather than a straightforward process of spatial regulation to transform people and places, the process of regeneration involves uncertainties, negotiations, contestations and emotions between the multiple social, material, economic and environmental networks. The thesis has drawn together urban theories and empirical evidence (including historical and contemporary policy analysis as well as a range of qualitative methods) to illustrate the relational transformation of people and places. Governmentality provides the main conceptual framework. This leads to an in-depth exploration of the rationalities and technologies of urban regeneration from three perspectives in the empirical chapters - governing communities, demolishing communities and transforming communities.\ud \u

Topics: Community, Sustainability, Sustainable Communities, Newcastle, Gateshead, Urban Policy, Urban Regeneration, Housing Market Renewal
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.dur.ac.uk:393
Provided by: Durham e-Theses

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