Resident participation in housing regeneration in France
Hall, S. and Hickman, P. (2011) Resident participation in housing regeneration in France. Housing Studies, 26 (6). pp. 827-843. ISSN 0267-3037
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02673037.2011.593127
The involvement of local residents in housing regeneration policy and practice has become a ‘new orthodoxy’ across Western Europe. This paper considers the experience of France, a country noted for its history of ‘third sector’ activism and innovative practice in, for example, neighbourhood management. It is argued here that—notwithstanding three decades of central government rhetoric and exhortation—there remain few examples of genuine involvement of residents in formal regeneration decision-making processes at a local level in France (especially in respect of strategic issues). There exists a ‘participation deficit’. This paper explores this phenomenon empirically through case studies of housing regeneration in Lyon, Marseille and Mantes la Jolie. It also seeks to explain the ‘participation deficit’, drawing a distinction between those factors that are pan-European and those that are particularly French, not least the apparent resilience of representative democracy.
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