Policy Press

Urban renaissance?

New Labour, community and urban policy

Edited by Rob Imrie and Mike Raco


May 21, 2003

Page count

304 pages




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
Urban renaissance?

This book documents and assesses the core of New Labour's approach to the revitalisation of cities, that is, the revival of citizenship, democratic renewal, and the participation of communities to spear head urban change. In doing so, the book explores the meaning, and relevance, of 'community' as a focus for urban renaissance. It interrogates the conceptual and ideological content of New Labour's conceptions of community and, through the use of case studies, evaluates how far, and with what effects, such conceptions are shaping contemporary urban policy and practice.

The book is an important text for students and researchers in geography, urban studies, planning, sociology, and related disciplines. It will also be of interest to officers working in local and central government, voluntary organisations, community groups, and those with a stake in seeking to enhance democracy and community involvement in urban policy and practice.

"... a valuable contribution to the urban policy literature and a helpful teaching resource." Housing Studies

"... a valuable book, significant in its in-depth analysis of New Labour's use of 'community' and its practical policy outcomes and effects ... all contributors offer insights to the possibilities, problems, contradictions and challenges facing urban renaissance." Housing, Theory and Society

"There is a great deal in here that will keep the reader interested not only now but also, I suspect, in years to come... In a policy area where there are relatively few empirical and reflective pieces this is a welcome and worthwhile addition to the literature." Town Planning Review, Vol. 77 (2)

"... this book is a welcome addition to my shelf ... the focus on 'community', the mix of theoretical perspectives and the range of empirical findings mean that Urban renaissance? highlights the continuing (and perhaps deepening) contradictions in state intervention in our cities." Progress in Human Geography

"I enjoyed this book and recommend it to readers who are looking for a thorough overview of urban policies in th Uk from an empirical and politically sensitive perspective." Journal of Housing Builts Environs

"... a valuable contribution to the urban policy literature and a helpful teaching resource." Housing Studies

Rob Imrie is Professor of Human Geography in the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. Mike Raco is Lecturer in Economic Geography in the Department of Geography at the University of Reading.

Contents: Part One: New Labour and the turn to community regeneration: Community and the changing nature of urban policy ~ Rob Imrie and Mike Raco; Social capital, regeneration and urban policy ~ Ade Kearns; Visions of 'urban renaissance': the Urban Task Force report and the Urban White Paper ~ Loretta Lees; Part Two: Community involvement in urban policy: Strategic, multilevel neighbourhood regeneration: an outward-looking approach at last? ~ Annette Hastings; Addressing urban social exclusion through community involvement in urban regeneration ~ Rob Atkinson; Community at the heart? Community action and urban policy in the UK ~ Peter North; Cultural justice and addressing 'social exclusion': a case study of a Single Regeneration Budget project in Blackbird Leys, Oxford ~ Zoƫ Morrison; Disability and the discourses of the Single Regeneration Budget ~ Claire Edwards; Citizenship, community and participation in small towns: a case study of regeneration partnerships ~ Bill Edwards, Mark Goodwin and Michael Woods; Economy, equity or empowerment? New Labour, communities and urban policy evaluation ~ Stuart Wilks-Heeg; Part Three: The future of community in urban policy: The new urban policy: towards empowerment or incorporation? The practice of urban policy ~ Allan Cochrane; New Labour, community and the future of Britain's urban renaissance ~ Mike Raco.