Cardiff Bay Development Corporation - a critical review of a case study in urban regeneration
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Recent times have seen through changing social, political and economic circumstances the gradual, or perhaps in some places acute, running-down of parts of urban systems leaving in some cases entire inner city areas derelict and devastated. To tackle this problem, urban policies during the nineteen eighties and onwards were geared towards urban regeneration strategies. In this context, the increasing influence of "New Right" ideology, which advocated a deregulated state together with a market-led regeneration as favourable solutions to urban dereliction, constituted the main topic of discussion in the literature review section of this thesis. The effect of "New Right" ideology on urban planning policies pursued by a succession of Conservative governments since 1979 and into the mid-nineties, was sought in this thesis in order to appreciate the shift away from the Welfare State regime to a new era of encouraged private sector-led development. As had been argued in the literature review, the changing roles of public and private sector agencies in the urban development arena had resulted in a fragmentation of planning styles which could be drawn into a typology of distinctive planning styles ranging from market-critical to market-led, as identified from the review of several British cases studies by Brindley et al. (1996). More specifically, in this thesis it was decided to review the changing ideological climate that had affected urban planning during this era within the case study area. The thesis examines the view that the "New Right", due to unique arrangements featured in the particular case, had not been as dominant in Cardiff as in other English urban regeneration areas. In order to verify this belief, the research methods chosen included first a review of secondary sources of information for the locality, and second semi-structured in depth interviews with "key-actors" in the particular redevelopment scheme. The information gathered was used for the evaluation of the case study against the typology of planning styles, in order to assess if the particular case study had reaffirmed the typology or had suggested a new one. Ultimately, the issue of a "good practice" regeneration model has been discussed in the conclusion of this thesis, in light of the recent "New Deal" initiatives by the Labour government during the second half of the nineties, where a greater community involvement has been considered essential in order to achieve considerable improvements in urban regeneration programmes.
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