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During the last decade, in many European countries and cities, area-based Urban Development Programmes have been initiated, in response to major problems of poverty and social exclusion. Urban Development Programmes are usually developed in a complex interplay between different governmental levels, and implemented by a wide variety of public and non-public parties. This paper addresses the organisation of these programmes, concentrating in particular on the form and extent of ‘public-public partnership’, i.e. on the role that the different levels of the public administration play, both through the administrative system and through policy-making. The ‘empirical’ basis for the paper consists of case studies, derived from the UGIS project (‘Urban Governance, Social Inclusion and Sustainability,’ a research project financed by the European Commission, DG RTD). The short analysis makes clear that both the model of public administration, in terms of the extent and form of decentralisation, and the presence (or lack) of a national policy framework determine the extent to which UDPs can be planned, approved and implemented at the local level. One of the main findings is that the central influence over UDPs depends more on the urban policy framework of the central government than on the model of public administration of a country. Countries with strong national (regional) urban policies, sufficient decentralisation of public administration to the municipal level and the use of governance methods at the local level open up possibilities for successful UDPs. Without upper-level urban policy frameworks UDPs might be successful as well, but their replicability and the control over their external effects will not be ensured.
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Keywords: Public administration; Urban Development Programmes; area-based policies; comparative analysis; decentralisation; urban policy-making

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Metropolitan Research Institute (MRI), Lónyay utca 34. III. 21, HU-1093 Budapest, Hungary., Email: [email protected] 2: AMIDSt – Amsterdam Institute for Metropolitan and International Development Studies, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Prinsengracht 130, 1018 VZ Amsterdam, the Netherlands., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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