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Success in Regeneration: Pride, Prejudices and Lessons


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Title: Success in Regeneration: Pride, Prejudices and Lessons

Success in Regeneration
Pride, Prejudices and Lessons Nora Galley,
Roger Tym Partners
Success in Regeneration
Pride some (still too few) successes to shout
Prejudice mine, but others too
Lessons with a personal take
For It is a truth universally acknowledged, that
a down-at-heel place in possession of a good
partnership must be in want of a (successful)
But first some parameters
What is successful regeneration? Is it the same
as a successful regeneration project ? - A
successful regeneration project is a project that
is delivered more or less as conceived (doh)
But - Successful regeneration is not the same
as a successful project (doh?)
Why? Because (too often) projects are about
outputs, and are (too rarely) driven by outcomes
(i.e., the lasting change that is needed for
regeneration to occur)
Output-itis and outcome-blindness are symptoms of
the same affliction - regeneration that
is driven by political agendas (short-termism)
and/or - regeneration that is driven by
funding regimes (where the project serves the
funding bodies dicta, rather than action that
will produce the lasting change needed)
  • Successful regeneration is, in this order
  • Recovery of well-being
  • - Enough jobs (labour market in balance)
  • - Average incomes in line with at least
    national average
  • - GDP in line with at least national
    average (a modest goal given UK performance note
    that competitiveness is measured by GDP per head)
  • - Growth in GDP in line with national
    average (also modest UK is not catching up)
  • Which is the wherewithal for improved quality of
  • - Popular place to live, shop etc.,
    demonstrated by house prices, pressure on
    development land, school performance, range and
    quality of private service offer, good governance

  • And ensuring
  • - Equitable distribution of the above
  • Effective protection of the natural and built
    environment (sustainable now and future
  • Prudent use of natural resources (sustainable
    for future generations)
  • Although more often than not, these will be the
    outcome, or at the very least, intermediate
    stages in achieving well-being / regeneration

  • With this in mind

Pride some genuine regeneration
Employee Employment Change 1995-2002 Cities vs
City Centres
Employment Change in Growth Sectors Proxy
(business services)

city centres cities and regions
Employment Change in Growth Sectors Proxy
(consumer services) city centres cities and
Employment Change in Growth Sectors Proxy
(consumer services) city centres cities and
Manchester in the 1980s
Manchesters Millennium Quarter
Manchesters Selfridges Store
Manchesters Printworks Corn Exchange (The
Manchesters Millennium Park
Manchesters Aquatic Centre
Trafford Park
Leeds in the inter-war years
Leeds Victorian Quarter one of the arcades
Leeds Design Innovation Centre, Langton Wharf
and Chandlers Wharf
Leeds Waterfront
Leeds Royal Armouries
Outcomes, not outputs but to achieve successful
regeneration, the interventions must be the right
How to determine what will produce the
outcomes / successful regeneration ?
Some Prejudices
Intervening to Effect (effectiveness is what it
is all about)
  • Accept that there is a relationship between
    inputs (the regeneration project, the outputs it
    delivers and the outcomes that can be expected to
  • Accept that achieving the desired outcomes
    requires the causes of under-performance) to be
    resolved (what has caused what needs to be
  • Accept that under-performance at root is
    insufficient demand of some sort
  • But also accept that it is not possible to alter
    the demand side of the economy - e.g., demand for
    labour demand for goods and services (although
    the Keynesian approach has merit, if it corrects
    market failures and exploits assets that offer
    competitive advantage)

Intervening to effect
  • Therefore stuck with understanding how the supply
    side factors e.g., property, spatial
    relationships, labour, institutions,
    infrastructure, environment etc are frustrating
    demand that might otherwise exist.
  • To understand, need to unpick the cause and
    effect relationships / the feedback loops.
  • Need, therefore, to understand the concepts of
    market, institutional and distributional failure
    technical but essential to effective
  • But can only do this with some idea of what
    demand might, in the absence of these failures,
    be realisable

  • Market Failure
  • Externalities one party imposes a cost on
    another that is not adequately priced in the
  • Goods non-rival in consumption free-riders
  • Imperfect knowledge transactions inefficient and
    depressed because true costs and values not known

  • Institutional failure
  • Inappropriate policy (e.g., unsound planning
    policy, inappropriately limiting competition)
  • Leadership weakness (failure to deliver
    appropriate policy)
  • Ineffective institutions (failure to achieve
    what they are set up for e.g., poor schools)
  • Distributional failure (inequities in the
    distribution of wellbeing)
  • For example
  • Obstacles to access that impose additional costs
  • Policy that disadvantages

Some typical causes and effects (feedback loops
vicious spiral) The Catch 22 in property
markets no suitable property is available
because values are low values are low, because
demand is low and demand is low because there is
no suitable property. Possible
explanations? - adverse externalities (e.g.,
bad neighbours) - imperfect knowledge -
poor policy (poor spatial planning poor planning
  • Some typical causes and effects (feedback loops
    vicious spiral)
  • Insufficient local spending to support an
    attractive retail offer retail offer limited
    because spending is low, spending is low because
    offer is limited
  • Possible explanations?
  • Cartels in shopping centre ownership
  • Inadequate policy response (out of town
    competition no attractive land supply in centre
    access obstacles etc)

  • Some typical causes and effects (feedback loops
    vicious spiral)
  • Little representation from growth sectors of
    the economy (little representation because labour
    pool inappropriate labour market inappropriate
    because little demand from the sectors property
    market inappropriate because there is little
    demand and so on)
  • Possible explanations?
  • Policy failures (hanging on to hopes of
    manufacturing growth not coming to grips with
    the economic future of the place etc)
  • Property market failures (imperfect knowledge
    adverse externalities poor spatial planning etc)
  • Institutional shortcomings (schools

  • Some typical causes and effects (feedback loops
    virtuous spiral)
  • Rising employment in growth sectors of the
  • Growing residential population
  • Possible explanations?

  • Some typical causes and effects (feedback loops
    virtuous spiral)
  • Possible explanations?
  • Positive externalities for knowledge and
    consumer services
  • Concentration producing scale economies
    (supply chain efficiencies sharing labour and
    customer pools knowledge exchange competitive
    intensity), leading to I
  • Increase in spending, rise in innovation,
    creation of new businesses, leading to
  • Pressure on land and in-movement of labour,
    leading to
  • Investment in property, more attractive
    environment, public services leading to
  • More businesses wanting to supply goods and
    services and so on

Intervening to Effect
  • 4. And once the source of the problem is
    understood, and the feedback loops are unpicked,
    the task is to set objectives that
  • to remove causes of failure
  • take advantage of under-exploited supply-side
    assets (which evidence shows offer prospect of
    competitive advantage)
  • take advantage of other opportunities
  • But all within the demand capacity of the place
  • And taking on board the lessons from best
    practice in regeneration

  • Best practice in regeneration
  • Every piece of land in an area ought to have a
    specific job to do (under-used / ineffectively
    used land shows that the job is not the right one
    or that some adverse externality is at fault)
  • The job for the land should be dictated by what
    the places job is what kinds of wealth it is
    best placed to generate what kinds of services
    it must deliver and to whom, where and what
    additional services it needs to deliver in order
    to ensure well-being and its fair distribution

  • Best practice in regeneration
  • City and town centres have unique,
    un-substitutable characteristics and should offer
    advantages unavailable in other locations
  • Town and city centres should contain a
    concentration of the factors that drive
    competitiveness in the catchments it serves
    (skills, investment, innovation, enterprise,

So that the regeneration projects - are a
response to evidence-based objectives - that
are founded on a sound understanding of
prospective demand - and the corrections to
supply-side failures needed to realise it - So
that the project will produce the outputs that
will lead to the desired outcomes In other
words, so the regeneration will be effective
(No Transcript)
Some Lessons
  • Places must have economic purposes cannot
    regenerate neighbourhoods in isolation of the
    economies that sustain them
  • Cannot regenerate without a notion of demand
    whether a place (e.g., a coalfield town with no
    more coalfields) or a project (the Dome)
  • Design alone never regenerated anything
    without these basic factors already in place
    (dont be fooled by places simply looking better
    it wont last)
  • Cant solve the problem if you dont
    understand what caused it in the first place
  • Image itself can be a form of market failure
    (imperfect knowledge but only if the market is
    wrong), but it is never the only thing, and
    usually is the consequence of something else
  • Development takes a long time particularly
    the right kind (i.e., that corrects market
    failures development that doesnt, but just
    produces outputs, is short term-ism)

Success is not that difficult but it is too
rare Rise up go forth research the problem
devise the strategy gain the support get your
partners on side and SUCCEED