Remaking Urban Scotland: Strategies for Local Economic Development

Remaking Urban Scotland: Strategies for Local Economic Development

Remaking Urban Scotland: Strategies for Local Economic Development

Remaking Urban Scotland: Strategies for Local Economic Development

Excerpt

Local economic policies have become of increasing importance over the last decade, initially as a development of policies aimed at combatting urban deprivation and, more recently, as a contribution to reversing national economic decline. Our initial interest was stimulated by the distinctive form which these policies have taken in Scotland, where the Scottish Development Agency, a body without parallel in England, has, since 1975, had wide-ranging responsibilities for physical and economic regeneration. Scotland's distinctive administrative structure is sometimes said to provide a greater coherence to spatial development policies than is achieved in England. In the following chapters, we assess this claim, examining six strands of local development policy. After an initial mapping of the policy field, we review the experience of urban and regional planning in Scotland, noting the change in direction of spatial policy in the late 1970s away from regional planning and urban dispersal towards more tightly focussed urban initiatives. Next, we examine central government's spatial policies, in the form of regional policy and the enterprise zone experiment and the attempts by the European Community to forge urban and regional policies. Chapter 4 reviews local government economic initiatives and chapter 5 the area projects of the Scottish Development Agency. We then examine community- based strategies, their goals and achievements and, in chapter 7, assess the recent growth of the private-sector enterprise trust movement. Our conclusion focusses on the new directions which urban economic policies are taking and warns of the danger of a disintegration of the social, physical and economic strands of policy which, in our view, should be considered together.

In a modest way, this book has been its own job-creation project. Juliet Gilchrist, Gary Hughes and Kevin Doran assisted at various times with the research while Peter Taylor was employed on an earlier project on which this draws. Yvonne Macleod typed the tables with her customary accuracy. We are grateful to officials of central and local government and the Scottish Development Agency for their help in collecting material, to Derrick Johnstone and Ivan Turok for helpful comments on draft chapters and to David Heald, Arthur Midwinter and Urlan Wannop for advice. Financial support was provided by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, the . . .

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