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Towards a holistic approach to regeneration: The importance of operational dimensions


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Since urban regeneration became part of government policy in the late 1960s, there have been continuing debates about the merits of an area-based approach, and the alternatives to an area focus, such as the targeting of specific client groups. This paper argues that such debates need to be conceptualised according to the different operational dimensions which are inherent in any human activity, and which are of particular relevance to the delivery of public services. While a particular social group, or a particular theme, might be the primary focus of a regeneration programme, all dimensions come into play in the delivery of the programme, so the design and management of regeneration activity needs to take account of all the dimensions. The paper introduces the Operational Dimensions Framework (ODF), which originated from the author's experience of managing regeneration programmes in the 1990s. The ODF helps in making sense of the complexity of the context within which regeneration programmes take place, and hence is a good starting point for a holistic approach.

Keywords: Policy; area-based initiatives; dimensions; holistic; joined-up; operational dimensions framework

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • Journal of Urban Regeneration & Renewal is the essential peer-reviewed journal for all professionals concerned with physical, economic and social regeneration of urban communities. It publishes in-depth articles and real world case studies on the latest strategy, policy making and current and best practice in the field. Guided by its expert Editor and Editorial Board, each quarterly 100-page issue does not publish advertising but rather in-depth articles written by and for urban regeneration professionals analysing current and best practice in the planning, consultation, funding, delivery and long-term management of regeneration programmes, as well as the latest policy making, developments and research in the field.

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