Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
a great overview of a very broad subject area
on 4 July 2015
Although expensive, this is a solid and useful text book. It is reasonably upto date, I read the second edition published in 2013. It is very much written as a text book, so it provides a summary of the key thinking on topics, plentiful references and suggestions for further reading, as well as summaries and study questions. In common with other such books there are a lot of tables that do not lend themselves to those reading on Kindle at a large font size, and the publishers have done a slapdash version of scanning the printed version, there are a lot of scanning errors.
The title is perhaps misleading, the term regeneration suggests area based initiatives, and thinking, and thinking has moved on considerably since those were used. More modern approaches are covered such as the creative class (Florida), Mary Portas, studentification, urban festivals etc. Having said that, the underlying lessons don’t change, new initiatives do sometimes work, but often at the expense of other areas, and successes are cloned till they no longer work, so there is never an easy panacea. There is also the tension between whether you are focussed on the residents, the buildings or just imposing some bland corporate aspirational middle class utopia on an area.
The book does perhaps reflect the organisational silo that regeneration traditionally sat in, it is not exactly a development planning issue, and the partisan realities of local government are not fully engaged with. Being a text book it is reliant on what has been done already and written up, so the same examples pop up again and again, and there is an understandable dearth of completely new ideas
There were a few minor technical issues, I suspect that the Scottish Government was incorrectly named at one point, and I would disagree with the assertion that there are no BIDs in Scotland, but for students, this is a very thorough, broadly based and reliable overview of the subject even if it is probably a little superficial on any particular topic.