Publication: Supporting innovation in rehabilitation initiatives for deprived neighbourhoods: a multi-level perspective
The rehabilitation of deprived urban neighbourhoods through area-based and integrated approach has assumed importance on the European and many national agendas for over thirty years (Berg et al., 1998; Couch et al., 2011). Such approach, rather than focusing on improving the social, economic, housing and urban condition of individuals or households with low incomes and specific needs with no regard where they live, pursues the same objectives by concentrating on specific (deprived) geographic areas. In some countries the experience of area-based initiatives has been long and weighty in terms of resources allocated, and has anticipated European initiatives, namely the URBAN Community Initiative. In other member states, including Italy, vice versa, when introduced by the European Union's initiatives in a limited number of target cities and towns, this approach was considered an absolute novelty (Parkinson, 1998; Carpenter, 2006; Dühr et al., 2010; Seixas and Albet, 2012). Area-based and integrated approach to urban rehabilitation assumes wide and variable meaning in different contexts according to different European, national and regional policies. Also the terms used change in relation to the specific problems to be emphasized but also to the political rhetoric aiming at stressing the novelty of urban policy undertaken. Regeneration, for example, is a term used recently at the EU (and Italian) level to indicate urban policies aiming at improving the “quality of life”, in the broadest sense, in deprived areas (EU, 2015). But this term implies different approaches: while some consider local communities or neighbourhoods as the very object of regeneration, others use various policy instruments to improve the urban economy to the benefit of the inhabitants’ economic well being (Cochrane, 2007). Some approaches are physical, property-led or business driven, some others focus on the urban form and design, on cultural industry or health and well-being, some others emphasize community-based, social economy (Colantonio and Dixon, 2010). In addition, the term urban regeneration in continental Europe appears to be rather indeterminate in its outcomes compared with the Anglo-American context in which this and related terms were originally coined (Rossi and Vanolo, 2013).
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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