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Title: Narrating urban regeneration in Liverpool : an analysis of decision-makers' discourses of waterfront redevelopment and European capital of culture
Author: Jones, Menna Tudwal
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2012
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Since the early 1980s, central government's guidance for urban regeneration in the UK has emphasised the importance of transforming a city's image. This requirement to re-image the city has been presented as a means for cities to compete against each other for business and tourism investment. These policy discourses have been evident since the 1980s throughout successive government administrations, and has continued to be a relevant policy issue in present times. This focus on re-imaging the city remains an important attribute, as evident in the rise of significance being given to such terminology as image-promotion, place-marketing, place-making and place branding. A key aspect of this increasing focus on re-imaging the city has been the promotion of specific attributes of a city being employed to 'sell' place. Within such civic boosterism, the meaning of a place has been constructed, maintained and mobilised through image enhancement by decision-makers involved in urban regeneration. The thesis assesses the ways in which stakeholders' narratives (as examples of local-level understandings of regeneration) reflect central government policy recommendations and intervention. This thesis examines how decision-makers have intentionally attempted to construct, maintain and mobilise representations of the city and, in the process, give meaning to urban regeneration. Taking the city of Liverpool as its case study, and through the use of frame analysis, it examines how representations of the city have been employed by decision-makers involved in specific urban regeneration initiatives. The research reveals that particular characteristics of Liverpool have been privileged over others in the attempts taken to re-image the city. The thesis argues that there is a disparity between such representations and the lived experience of Liverpool as a space. A key aspect of this divergence between rhetoric and reality concerns the 'top-down' imposition of 'universal templates' for urban regeneration. The thesis demonstrates how policy discourses that focus on re-imaging the city for urban regeneration have become prevalent, and argues that attention is diverted from concerns about local issues. The findings raise important questions about who benefits from urban regeneration, and the current effectiveness of large scale projects. The thesis offers new insights into how urban regeneration is understood at a local level, and the process through which specific discourses have remained dominant.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available