A losing battle: Should government regenerate deprived areas?

This presentation will ask whether governments should try to regenerate deprived areas or should let them sink or swim on their own. To answer this question, I will draw on research conducted over a ten-year period in east Manchester.  Described as a ‘basket-case’ at the end of the 1990s, both by residents who live there and by local council officials, east Manchester underwent a massive project of urban regeneration to try to halt the terrible decline into which the area had sunk.

An overall balance sheet of this urban regeneration project offers both successes and failures.  On the one hand, there is a visible physical legacy in the form of the new Etihad Stadium and the improved quality of housing and green spaces.  Educational achievement has also been improved with an increase in the number of pupils getting GCSEs at grades A-C and the building of a new secondary school in the area.  On the other hand, key challenges remain in the areas of worklessness and health which point to the challenges of turning around a deprived area. In sum, the east Manchester experience offers both positive and sobering lessons from which those involved in urban regeneration can learn.

Presentation time: 
Monday, 30 June, 2014 - 15:30

Georgina Blakeley

Dr Georgina Blakeley is chair for the Level 1 Introduction to Social Sciences module. She carries out research on Spanish politics and is currently working on historical memory. In addition, she also works on citizen participation and urban governance. Her recent co-authored book on this subject ‘The Regeneration of East Manchester: A Political Analysis’ has just been published by Manchester University Press. Her editorial work includes three co-edited books on political concepts with Professor Valerie Bryson.