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Delivering renewal? Examining the roles of public sector actors in regeneration governance networks in the UK and Germany

Rory Shand
Plymouth University
Rory Shand
Plymouth University
Open Panel

Abstract

This paper examines the roles played by key actors in governance ‘networks’ from the public and private sector, in relation to the role of communities and agencies, in the governance process of two regeneration initiatives. These case studies are the Thames Gateway area in the south-east of England and the Social City scheme in Berlin/Brandenburg. The role of the public sector actors in the delivery of projects such as house building has been secondary to that of non departmental bodies in the UK, and to communities in Germany. The paper draws upon the policy networks framework to describe relations between the actors in management of resources, management and delivery of projects, illustrating through the Asymmetric Power Model (Smith and Richards, 2003) the ways in which resources are distributed by the centre to key agencies, which sidelines the input public sector actors at the regional and local level maintain in the delivery of projects. The Social City is examined through the lens of politikverflechtung (Katzenstein, 1987), to illustrate the role of public sector actors in the overlapping tiers of the network. The paper also argues that the impact of cuts in public sector provision in the UK will impact both on the governance model due to the axing of several non departmental bodies, and on project delivery as resources become increasingly focused on the London 2012 Olympic Games, while in Germany the Social City has seen some projects such as housing protected from cuts by cross party agreement.