Regeneration for some; degeneration for others

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The Routledge Companion to Urban Regeneration, 2013, 1, pp. 189 - 198
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Regeneration is usually posited as a process of driving urban and national economic development in a way that is socially progressive, socially desirable, and socially efficient. This chapter explores and evaluates actually existing urban regeneration in Accra, Ghana, focusing on its nature and outcome; two principal themes largely ignored in the literature regarding Ghana's urban problems and policy. The chapter reveals more complexity than the normative ideal that urban regeneration advocates suggest. It shows that, although regeneration creates employment, 'modernizes' the city, and drives urban and national growth, it creates 'degenerative' outcomes for a large stratum of city dwellers. Therefore, regeneration for some means degeneration for others. The chapter puts the case for a double re-conceptualization of the idea of 'regeneration' to recognize that regeneration can be largely regressive, albeit progressive only for a minority few, including the class of estate developers.
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