Social housing in waterfront regeneration : a critical evaluation
This thesis provides a critical analysis of the suitability of mixed-use waterfront revitalisation as a setting for social housing schemes. Although the latter have become increasingly common on British waterfronts in recent years, it can be argued that for a variety of reasons the waterfront may be an inappropriate location in which to create new, and possibly vulnerable, social housing communities. This proposition is tested through three empirical investigations. Each of these assesses resident satisfaction with respect to the housing itself, the immediate revitalised environment and the regenerated waterfront's degree of integration with the city and its services. A variety of research methods was employed, including desk-top studies involving literature searches, qualitative investigations to assist questionnaire design, the use of self-administered questionnaires by sample populations, postal proformas and postal and telephone correspondence. The empirical results are presented and discussed against the background of introductory chapters reviewing processes of waterfront decline and revitalisation. the evolution of UK social housing policy and approaches to the analysis of waterfront regeneration. The concluding chapter reviews results, proposes a conceptual model for the analysis of todays regenerated waterfronts and outlines a research agenda. The main findings were that anticipated problems were greatly over-estimated by the hypotheses adopted, and that mixed-use waterfronts have substantial appeal for the large majority of social housing tenants. This reflects a complex range influences. Despite high satisfaction levels, however, the work also demonstrated that potential problems should not be ignored. To a great extent their avoidance depends on successful design at the micro-scale, but the overall morphology of the waterfront may also be important in terms of its ability to isolate communities from inner-urban problems.