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Regeneration in a cold climate: from policy change to behaviour change


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This presentation examines why we need to rethink the idea of regeneration, including the role of social housing and the nature of 'work' to create real value for people in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. It looks at the idea of coproduction and argues for an 'urban acupuncture' approach with small, significant interventions.

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Regeneration in a cold climate: from policy change to behaviour change

  1. 1. Regeneration in a cold climateFrom policy change to behaviour change
  2. 2. Why we can’tleave it to thegovernment‘Regeneration to Enable Growth gives uslittle confidence that the government hasa clear strategy for addressing thecountry’s regeneration needs. It lacksstrategic direction and is unclear aboutthe nature of the problem it is trying tosolve.’House of Commons communities and local government committee
  3. 3. Why we can’t leave it to the experts‘...the challenge now is to maximise the numbers andminimise the price. Although the scale is different, the“numbers game” which led directly to the housing disastersof the sixties is being played again, this time by housingassociations instead of councils.’David Page, Building for Communities, 1993
  4. 4. 5 public servicemodels thatwon’t work anymore1 The Olympian god2 The Fat Controller3 The Philanthropist4 The Revolutionary5 The Wagon Circle
  5. 5. 7 foundationsfor strongcommunities1 Affordable, decent and safe homes2 Good physical and mental health3 Clean and healthy neighbourhoods4 Satisfying work, paid or voluntary5 Good relationships6 Feeling those you care about are safe7 Access to communal and green spaces(source: Oxfam Humankind Index)
  6. 6. Coproduction:a model forhard times‘The medicine of kindness, the salve ofco-operation and the tonic of pride’ Mary Clear, Incredible Edible Todmorden‘The key to it is be right with folk, and Ialways think in life that if you’re rightwith folk then they’ll be right with you’ Peter Beck, housing manager, Kirklees
  7. 7. Coproduction:time to get outof the silo‘Public services that rest on an equal andreciprocal relationship betweenprofessionals, people using services, theirfamilies and neighbours’ Public Services Inside Out (Boyle, Slay and Stephens, 2010)
  8. 8. Coproduction:It’s the people,stupid(not “it’s thestupid people”)‘We cannot control what will happen if weunleash the potential of real people in realcommunities, but we have to do it’ Martin Simon, Timebanking UK
  9. 9. Coproduction:buildingbelonging‘There are Moss-heads and there areFarm-heads. I am a Farm-head’ 8-year-old boy, Stockbridge Village, Knowsley (quoted in We’re Lovely, Us People on Stockbridge)
  10. 10. Coproduction:buildingresilience‘A fence at the top of the cliff is alwaysbetter than an ambulance at the bottom’ David Robinson, Community Links
  11. 11. Coproduction:building a senseof agency‘A composer can have all the talent ofMozart and a passionate desire tosucceed, but if he believes that he cannotcompose music, he will come to nothing’ Martin Seligman, Learned Optimism
  12. 12. Whycoproductionmeansrethinkinghousing1 Housing as a foundation forcommunity: from bricks and mortar tolearning, work, health and hopes2 Housing as an anchor of place: puttingdown roots and building networks3 Housing as a stepping stone: anopportunity to build skills, confidenceand standing
  13. 13. Whycoproductionmeansrethinkingwork1 The value created within communities isoften fashioned outside the workplace2 Work is not always a route out ofpoverty: 61% of children in poverty haveworking parents3 Insecure and precarious work damagescommunities. Zero-hours or commission-only contracts can harm physical andmental health
  14. 14. Making ithappen:three stories
  15. 15. Story 1: WECH‘If more places were like WECH therewould be more happiness’ Local resident, 2010‘For nearly a decade WECH has housed apolice officer as a tenant in exchange forhim playing a role in community affairs’ WECH report, 2010
  16. 16. Story 2:Taff Housing‘[Public services] are no longer lookinginwards so obsessively towards targetsand procedures, but they find themselveslooking increasingly outwards at the localneighbourhood to create supportive socialnetworks...’ David Boyle, The Human Element, 2011
  17. 17. Story 3:FreshHorizons,Huddersfield‘None of the people who apply for a posthere had ever thought to apply for a localauthority post. What we do is look for thepotential in people rather than their trackrecord’ Mike McCusker, chief executive, Fresh Horizons
  18. 18. Why smallmakes sense‘When a parent takes a child swimming orto the park they don’t think of it as adiversion from crime. They think of it asfun, part of a happy childhood’ David Robinson, Community Links
  19. 19. Urbanacupuncture:small isbountiful‘Cities have the capability of providingsomething for everybody, only because,and only when, they are created byeverybody’ Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
  20. 20. UrbanacupunctureStory 1: The pothole gardener
  21. 21. UrbanacupunctureStory 2: Meanwhile Space
  22. 22. UrbanacupunctureStory 3: Placemaking with dirty hands
  23. 23. ‘Don’t ossify,occupy’ - anold slogan fornew times• Occupy the debate: get involved• Occupy the space: animate what’sempty• Occupy the attention: become a shopwindow for hope
  24. 24. Thank youMore from me:• my website:• on Twitter: @urbanpollinator• my blog: Living with Rats