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From New Labour to the Big Society
Author: Hugh Atkinson

There is a widespread view that local democracy in Britain is in deep trouble and that people face a crisis of civic engagement and political participation. This book counterweighs the many negative accounts that seek to dominate the political discourse with talks on political apathy and selfish individualism. It commences with an examination of theoretical debates as to the meaning of local democracy and related concepts. The book looks at the policy agenda around local democracy in the context of the developing nature of central/local relations since 1979. It considers the available evidence on level of political participation and civic engagement by looking at eight themes. These include the state of formal politics, forms of civic engagement, community identity and the emerging world of the internet/world wide web. The book also looks at nine key aspects of the reform of local democracy over the last fifteen years, including local democracy and the New Labour reform agenda; the constitutional position of local government; and double devolution. It focuses on the so-called 'crisis of formal democracy' at the local level. The book ascertains the recent developments beyond the realm of elections, political parties and formal political institutions. It then concentrates on local services and policy attempts to widen public participation in the shaping and delivery of such services. Finally, the book discusses the concept of sustainability and regeneration strategies to build sustainable communities, both physical and social.

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Hugh Atkinson

institutions. These include citizen panels, neighbourhood governance arrangements and the use of referenda. The effectiveness, or otherwise, of such measures in boosting civic engagement will be analysed. Chapter 6 focuses on local services and policy attempts to widen public participation in the shaping and delivery of such services. Finally, Chapter 7 looks at the concept of sustainability and regeneration strategies to build sustainable communities, both physical and social. Within this, there is an also an analysis of local strategies to combat climate change. The last

in Local democracy, civic engagement and community
Ireland at the Dundrum Town Centre
Denis Linehan

enrich, indulge and inspire every aspect of our lives’ (in Boland, 2005 ). In the experience economy, architecture and design have become a foundational part of place-making and urban branding strategies. At Dundrum, in line with retail-led regeneration strategies found internationally, place-making is expressed through design, marketing, advertising and promotional and cultural events. Assembled together, these provide a comprehensive narrative – if not a doxa – through which the spectacle of mall is presented. What is revealed here is how notions of urban space as a

in Defining events
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Brian Rosa

Relics Railway – Brian Rosa Castlefield – the meeting point of some of the oldest industrial canals and railways in the world – is undoubtedly one of the most important sites in Manchester to help us understand the relationship between the Industrial Revolution and urban infrastructure. During the 1970s, a grass-roots campaign to save the abandoned Liverpool Road Station – built in 1830, it’s the oldest railway station in the world – led to Castlefield becoming a showcase for industrial heritage and, in turn, driving Manchester’s regeneration strategies from the

in Manchester
Georgina Blakeley and Brendan Evans

that politics is a field of contestation in which power relations are both sustained and challenged (Thompson, 1990: 10). All political decisions have an orientation towards the status quo and so policies which reaffirm, modify or overthrow it are equally ideological. Had New Labour, for example, perpetuated the Major Government’s urban policies that would have been as much an ideological choice as a desire to extend or abandon them. Equally, the Coalition Government’s willingness to replace New Labour’s urban regeneration strategy has ideological roots. The

in The regeneration of east Manchester
Georgina Blakeley and Brendan Evans

Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Heseltine, which prepared the way for the more ambitious policies which emerged after 1987. In 1992, MCC launched the East Manchester Regeneration Strategy, which astutely recognised that an international sporting activity might kick-­start regeneration (Grant, 2010: 31). This was followed up by Stringer formally announcing that Manchester was to bid for the 2002 Commonwealth Games (Grant, 2010: 31).The announcement symbolised MCC’s developing pragmatic relationship with local business and central government to ‘boost’ the

in The regeneration of east Manchester
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Something rich and strange

Manchester: Something rich and strange challenges us to see the quintessential post-industrial city in new ways. Bringing together twenty-three diverse writers and a wide range of photographs of Greater Manchester, it argues that how we see the city can have a powerful effect on its future – an urgent question given how quickly the urban core is being transformed. The book uses sixty different words to speak about the diversity of what we think of as Manchester – whether the chimneys of its old mills, the cobbles mostly hidden under the tarmac, the passages between terraces, or the everyday act of washing clothes in a laundrette. Unashamedly down to earth in its focus, this book makes the case for a renewed imaginative relationship that recognises and champions the fact that we’re all active in the making and unmaking of urban spaces.

Brian Marren

their new ‘Urban Regeneration Strategy’, a massive scheme of public housing construction. Labour Councillor Tony Byrne took special interest in this project, ensuring that quality of life issues were considered and construction targets met. Over 5,000 new homes were built during Labour’s term of office between 1983 and 1987. In the first eighteen months, the council built 1,000 homes, the largest public works project in Britain at that time.54 This zeal to build more council houses, parks, hospitals and schools created additional jobs on LCC’s payroll and boosted

in We shall not be moved
The narrative of east Manchester
Georgina Blakeley and Brendan Evans

lines at all. Maintaining Government commitment to build Metrolink services has not been easy, and there was a contentious period in 2004 when central government withdrew its support on financial grounds and NEM and MCC launched an aggressive campaign. Leese expressed MCC’s anger at the challenge to this fundamental part of the regeneration strategy and the campaign included visits to lobby MPs as well as Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State for Transport, to reinstate the project (NEM Board Minutes, 16/09/2004; NEMA, 12/11/2004). Ultimately, Darling relented

in The regeneration of east Manchester
Efrat Eizenberg

specific accounts of how gardens are used to increase the economic gains of private (e.g. Quastel, 2009 in Vancouver, Canada) or municipal stakeholders (e.g. Rosol, 2012 in Berlin, Germany; Eizenberg and Fenster, 2015 in Tel Aviv, Israel). Aliperti and Sarti (­chapter  5) examine urban gardening as an urban area regeneration strategy. More specifically, urban gardening was examined as part of a municipal policy to increase the attractiveness of the historic centre of the city of Perugia (Italy) for visitors as well as to support businesses (namely, retail) in the area

in Urban gardening and the struggle for social and spatial justice