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Problems and Aspirations in South Yorkshire and Beyond

September 17, 2010

I picked up this tweet from the inimitable and award winning Tom Bloxham MBE, Uber Prize Winning Guru of UK regeneration

Urban Splash’s refurb is turning one of the republic of Sth Yorkshire’s biggest problems into an aspirational address

Now ain’t that regeneration as it plays out here in the UK?

  1. Find a ‘problem community’ in an area with easy access to the city centre
  2. Refurb it to take it from a place where only the poor would live to an ‘aspirational address’.
  3. Replace a problem community with one that already has ‘aspirations’ .

The same recipe plays out all over the place.

Drive the poor people out, tart the place up.  Increase the property values and encourage the creative classes to move in.  Secure an immediate GVA increase, eliminate a whole bunch of costs, attract a community of shiny happy people and another award wining development is completed.

Everyone is a winner.  Developers, politicians, treasury.

Everyone except the displaced, who can no longer afford to live close to the city that is their home.  Who are driven out.  Who are economically excluded from the city.  Whose communities are broken up.

Regeneration is not economic cleansing.  It should be a process of inclusive community building.

Surely its time we awarded prizes for some other kind of ‘development’?

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