Cities in Transition: New Challenges, New Responsibilities by Bernhard Blanke, Randall Smith

By Bernhard Blanke, Randall Smith

This quantity explores a number of present difficulties confronted by means of towns in Germany and England whereas reflecting on positive recommendations for boosting the standard of existence for the electorate of twenty-first century city environments. The chapters of the e-book are in line with papers given at a symposium geared up through the schools of Bristol and Hannover in 1997 to have a good time the fiftieth anniversary of twinning among the 2 cities.

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The evidence is that City Challenge, and more particularly its SRB successor, has won grudging acknowledgement that the competitive process has had an impact and indeed brought some advantage. The impact on both winners (de Groot, 1992) and losers (Malpass, 1994; Oatley and Lambert, 1995) has been significant, and even opponents acknowledge the new regime to have had a significant positive impact upon the mobilization of local leadership and collaborative capacity building. The formalized competition which now characterizes urban policy has had a series of consequences, therefore, running far beyond simplistic ‘some win, some lose’ outcomes.

L. DeGroot, ‘City Challenge: competing in the urban regeneration game’, Local Economy, 7:3 (1992). Department of the Environment, Index of Local Conditions (London: DoE, 1994). Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Regeneration Programmes: The Way Forward (London, DETR, 1997). A. DiGaetano, ‘Urban governing alignments and realignments in comparative perspective: developmental politics in Boston, Massachusetts, and Bristol, England 1980–86’, Urban Affairs Review, 32:6 (1997).

Young and C. Mason (eds), Urban Economic Development (London: Macmillan, 1984). ), such links are particularly precarious in the UK because they primarily constitute strategic ‘risk avoidance partnerships’. Consequently he considers ‘a unified regional administration illusory’. As Stewart suggests, the main reasons for problems encountered with cooperation in England are: ● ● ● ● the absence of a democratically elected regional tier of government, of a tradition of regional policy formulation and even of regional identities; the political system characterized by sectoralization and centralization while a territorial dimension of policy-making has no tradition; territorial elements of national government policies which are too heterogeneous and particularistic to form the core of regional cooperation; the abolition by central government of new forms of regional cooperation initiatives under the Thatcher government.

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