I was a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Southampton (at Warwick from autumn 2011), working on a project with Prof. Graham Crow which is part of the AHRC-funded Connected Communities research programme entitled ‘Conceptualisations and meanings of "community": the theory and operationalisation of a contested concept'. I have a long-standing interest in urban and community studies, particularly the complex relationships between global processes of socioeconomic change and local contexts of lived experience. My contribution to this workshop will consider the problem of time in relation to community through exploring the topic of ‘rethinking regeneration and prosperity in a time of economic crisis and resource depletion’. My talk will draw on policy debates on regeneration in the UK, as well as empirical research on lived experiences of recent regeneration schemes in the case study of Walker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The notion of ‘time’ will be explored firstly in relation to the short historical memories of city planners about the limitations of past regeneration policies, tracing a wider historical sociology of regeneration policies and practices in the UK. Secondly, the notion of time will be explored through critically analysing assumptions of economic growth and progress embedded in dominant models of arts-and-property-led regeneration in the context of an era of uncertainty, recession and environmental crisis. I argue that regeneration policies should be broadened to focus on the wider picture of employment, public services, sustainable living environments, diversity and social inclusion, and community life.
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