Lecture 4: New Labour and the Urban Renaissance (So was it a renaissance?,…
Lecture 4: New Labour and the Urban Renaissance
New Labour - 1997 - The Urban Renaissance?
A centre approach with community involvement at the heart of policy. We see a shift from the passive to active citizen.
We see shifts from a very qualitative approach of houses built and people in jobs, typical conservative more people in work ideology to acknowledging the likes of health, qualifications, education. A more inter-sectional approach.
The Social Exclusion Unit (SEU) report led many to believe in positive improvements as policy acknowledged urban regeneration as design-led and taking into account investing in people, not just buildings.
Blair's administration takes into account a more inter-departmental approach with different boards working holistically. We see initiatives such as the "New Deal for Communities" and "Health Action Zones"
39 NDC Parternships with 29 within 10% most deprived of wards
More Area Based Initiative emphasis to concentrate attention on small areas of deprivation than spreading out resources thinly on a universal scale.
New Deal for Communities
(Lawless and Beatty, 2013)
Renewed emphasis on community initiatives. An attempt to build capacity of people in the most deprived of areas, it was a vision of sustainability where community neighbourhoods had greater agency in their development.
The scheme also highlighted a need to include the most excluded of groups, especially minority ethnic, which have been usually neglected in policies despite how working-class orientated they may have seemed.
Emphasised to be "community led".
The Aylesbury Estate considered the flagship of the initiative. Blair wanted housing to be the mainstream of social policy and thus he made his winning electoral speech at the estate to symbolise a new chapter of urban renaissance.
However, in 2001, a ballot for all tenants declared that 73% rejected Blair's vision of demolishing the estate and gentrifying it. Instead of calls for improvements and maintenance funding which was cheaper, Blair's execution of his vision only mirrored the urban entrepreunarialism of Thatcher's and Major's neoliberal focused administrations where business enterprise was at the heart of policy than social justice or welfare.
Thus it can be argued that the community led vision was executed in ways of tokenism rather than full active citizen participation when it came to such flagship, top-down initiatives such as Aylesbury Estate,
Arnstein's "Ladder of Participation" - (1969)
Community at Heart
Charitable company in 2000 outlined to target "moral underclass" to promote self-help, strong community ethic, well being and capacity building. An attempt to make citizens feel like power has been reconstituted to them with a civic responsibility.
Barton Hill, Bristol - A flagship of the initiate.
Awarded £50 million over 10 years. Examples of spending include £4mil on education, £9mil on safety and security.
, reported in
states feeling shifted from positive to disillusioned
states that he is however proud of school facilitates at Barton Hill School
Promoting the "Urban Idyll"
(Tallon and Hoskins, 2004)
Critique the White Paper for highlighting visions of cities as vibrant, cultural melting pots but being executed in a way to get "the right sort of people in" and still being exclusive and elitist.
Acknowledge Birmingham and regeneration through retail such as Selfridges and the Bull Ring.
But exclusiveness existed even as
states, the creative class would be built on values of cosmopolitanism and social liberation but would still exhibit hypocritical behaviours of exclusivity in the likes of Shoreditch to what fits their aesthetic.
So was it a renaissance?
states that Community at Heart still represented neoliberal forms of governance where self-reliance was still promoted, arguing some schemes simply gave communities the responsibility and left it to them if they exhibited according to their enterprisal agendas.
It can be argued to be a renaissance in terms of urban architecture, it saw Blair but emphasis on design led building
but as as
"Issues of social injustice are buried beneath a gloss of architectural aesthetics
And thus the designs hid the injustices of gentrification and displacement and class-elitism that followed.
By 2006, Birmingham regenerated to become 3rd "most dynamic retail centre"
Thus the most revolutionary policies of Blair buckled under neoliberal governance which eventually saw place invested rather than people. Words vs actions.
Mixed communities such as Aylesbury act as incentives for state led gentrification -