Abstracts: August 19th, 2004

By Michael BallThe problems created by the partnership approach to urban deprivation could outweigh the benefits, according to research sponsored by the ESRC and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Bringing together the private and voluntary sectors, local community groups and various central and local government agencies in urban regeneration partnerships can sometimes work well. However, it can also raise a host of issues about trust, leadership, costs, and having too many unproductive meetings. In this report the author explores the difficulties of co-operation between such diverse groups.

The study found that traditional animosities between the private and community sectors, as well as those between local authorities and community representatives, do not seem to have been resolved or smoothed over in the way partnerships operate. Hoped for benefits of co-operation between widely different groups may be enticing, but when they fail to work together properly, the costs can be high and the outcomes satisfactory for no one. Most of the larger, costly renewal schemes involve property redevelopment. This research looked at whether the partnership approach can deal with such complex projects.

The report is available from Professor Michael Ball on 07903 716163, Email: ballm@blueyonder.co.uk.