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'Spatial Justice': Towards a values-led framework of regeneration outcomes in UK planning

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posted on 2023-08-30, 15:46 authored by Sarah J. Bissett Scott
Do planners and policy-makers perceive philosophical underpinnings of UK regeneration as relevant to practice? The contention of this thesis is that such a basis is lacking for regeneration to deliver more spatially just outcomes over time. Would a framework led by values help improve future results for spatial interventions, in terms of the deep values sought in a liberal democratic society? The main objective of this research is to explore the possibility of developing an evaluative framework for ‘spatial justice’ based on investigating a suite of interventions, to determine what values could be attributable to measured outcomes. The research takes a real-world phenomenological approach applied through a case study methodology. Qualitative data are collected from historical document analysis, interviews and a survey, codified over time and by governance level, and compared with benchmarking data. The main case study is located in North Kensington, part of a west London borough, over a forty-year timespan. A secondary study tests the mediating contribution of geography and time by examining a regional city centre neighbourhood in Peterborough. The research is informed by professional practice at a regional and strategic level and from a local perspective. The study explores an existing gap of how to express spatial outcomes linked to liberal democratic values: it examines how articulated values and a nuanced approach to regionalized governance might aid better regeneration outcomes. Findings point towards the usefulness of connected indicators (proxies for deep values) translating into a terminology of ‘spatial justice’. The Colville-Tavistock case study contributes to theory and practice by crossreferencing Liberalism’s deep values with regeneration vision and outcomes, through the four-decade longitudinal study. The research offers a basis for appraising strategic spatial interventions, with potential for a ‘values-led impact analysis’ in terms other than financial: those of spatial justice values sought in a liberal democracy.



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