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Incorporating sustainable development concerns into an urban regeneration project: how politics can defeat procedures

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It is often thought that new procedural arrangements can help embed sustainable development as a policy goal into policy practice. This is the hope of tools such as environmental assessment, sustainability audits and sustainability indicators. Using a case study of urban regeneration in the London Borough of Southwark, this paper critically examines these claims. It shows how sustainable development was sidelined as a policy goal during the evaluation of the Master Plan for the area, the appraisal of individual projects for funding under the Single Regeneration Budget and the development of two local sustainability indicator projects. In each case the local political circumstances were key factors in shaping policy practice and outcomes. This leads to a re-evaluation of such procedural policy tools, emphasizing the importance of local governance contexts.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, UK. [email protected] Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, London, UK Forum for the Future, 227a City Road, London EC1V 1JT, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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