Thirty years of short-term initiatives have not reduced a pressing need for urban regeneration. If deprived households, polarised sink estates and derelict city landscapes are not to be with us 20 years hence, a broader, long-term approach is required.
Sustainable by 2020? describes this strategic approach to city-wide regeneration, developed in a major research programme with case studies in Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh. The report sets out an agenda of innovation as a first step to sustainable cities. It provides a better understanding of how cities can shift away from the piecemeal approach to build on steady, year-on-year achievement by improving our capabilities in urban management and participation.
Innovations suggested include:
underpinning regeneration with a 25-year national perspective on the future of our cities and countryside, with policies to match;
better integration between regional, city and local initiatives;
city strategies linking physical, economic and social development, urban regeneration and Agenda 21;
a life-long process of neighbourhood visioning as a right of all citizens, with participation beginning in primary school.
The authors stress that leadership, determination and imagination are required, with professionals, politicians and citizens working together to achieve the kind of communities we would like to leave to our children.
The report is essential reading for policy makers in national and local government, professionals and students, community representatives and everyone concerned with the future of Britain's cities.
Michael Carley, School of Planning and Housing, Heriot-Watt University and Karryn Kirk, School of Planning and Housing, Heriot-Watt University
Contents: Urban regeneration in Britain - past and future; The challenge of sustainable urban regeneration; Organisational prerequisites for sustainable regeneration; Strategic regeneration in four cities; Urban policy, regional development and city strategy - key recommendations; A call for neighbourhood visioning.