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Title: Social dimensions of urban regeneration : discourses, policies and practices of social sustainability in Hastings, England
Author: Orchard-Webb, Johanne Marie
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis develops an alternative critique of social urban regeneration practice by using a political-governance approach to examine the impact of regeneration governance upon barriers and opportunities for social sustainability. The research responds to a call from scholars to refocus sustainability research on the institutional, political and governance space that fosters or marginalises its presence and form. This ethnographic case study involved a year-long cycle of participant observation within the extensive Hastings regeneration governance infrastructure, and interviews with key stakeholders in that regeneration community. An analysis using NVivo was undertaken of thirty-one interviews, fifty regeneration governance meetings and the documents from each meeting. From that data emerged a strong argument for the centrality of the specificity of place in the construction or obstruction of social sustainability. Of particular importance is the impact of the socio-political context and the institutional and cultural legacy of New Labour partnership-led regeneration. The alternative critique identified in the Hastings example, in part emerges from the agency of a large-scale, political, and active Voluntary Community Sector (VCS) that is integral to, and embedded into the local governance infrastructure. The alternative model of activism employed by the VCS core utilises governance norms and practices to navigate the complex regeneration policy and governance landscape to contribute to, and disturb dominant agendas. In this regeneration landscape a distinctive local socio-political context, an alternative model of activism, and a valued good governance partnership culture enable what other commentators have termed 'actually existing' social sustainability (AESS). The research findings advance an understanding of principal critiques of the New Labour regeneration project, including the notions of 'post-political regeneration tactics' and democratic deficit, through a critical analysis of their presence in terms of their obstruction of AESS. The alternative critique that emerges from this research explores a possible shift in the locus and production of power, and the redistribution of roles in UK regeneration practice that enables a stronger VCS position.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: K420 Urban and Rural Planning ; L410 UK Social Policy