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As part of our work to evaluate how well the UK Government is tackling the renewal of the Thames Gateway we explored how seven European cities or regions are tackling ambitious regeneration and bringing sustainable growth and renewal to local communities. We published our research as a companion piece to the Thames Gateway report.

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European regions and cities face a common set of renewal issues.  Local economies have to adjust as manufacturing and older industries decline and more knowledge-based industries take their place.  Across Europe particular regions, cities, districts or neighbourhoods and their communities are in danger of being left behind unless existing social, physical and environmental infrastructure is renewed and adjusted to new economic conditions.

Delivering ambitious regeneration in today’s European state and economy is complex.  Creating sustainable communities and neighbourhoods requires integrated action across a range of different sectors – transport, housing, green space, health, leisure, employment and skills.  For every successful regeneration programme there have been others that did not achieve sustainable change.  So what is it that causes some programmes to be successful and others not?

The purpose of our publication was to illustrate from across a range of different European contexts how successful regeneration has been delivered.  We have drawn out critical factors in each case study that helped to bring about success.  In total there are seven factors, but not all are present in each of our case studies.  Common to all our case studies was the need to develop a clear shared vision backed up with strong leadership.

We did not seek to evaluate each of the approaches to regeneration or identify any particular individual approach as an exemplar.  Even the most successful of the programmes described in the pages of our report will have its critics.  The very different constitutional and administrative contexts and problems to be solved in each of the cities and regions prevent simplistic read across.

But with the help of  The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment we have identified how structured programme management can help to ensure the critical success factors are delivered – our framework for successful regeneration.  The framework is set out at page 70 of the publication.

We hope this publication will provide useful motivating material for all those engaged in delivering ambitious regeneration.


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