Hitting the target but missing the point: the case of area-based regeneration

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Journal Article
Community Development, 2013, 44 (5), pp. 617 - 634
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Area-based regeneration projects have captured the imagination of diverse assemblages of community actors, governmental interests, and commercial stakeholders around the world. Their appeal derives from claims that they are exemplary instruments for combating intertwined social, economic, and environmental issues in an integrated manner. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of such initiatives remains contentious and continues to provoke divergent views. In the midst of an era of fiscal austerity, demands for increasing "returns on investments" and maximizing "value for money" have risen to the forefront. This article investigates an area-based regeneration initiative in Europe that has been lauded for successfully achieving its regeneration outputs. The research examines whether hitting narrowly constructed (economic) targets may be missing the point of yielding holistic (community) outcomes. Of broader international and theoretical significance, the merits of output-driven regeneration strategies are questioned. © 2013 Community Development Society.
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