The Impact of the Community Development Projects on Assessing Urban Deprivation

Abstract : On 17 June 1994, the Independent ran the following headline: £10bn wasted on failed inner city policy. The Government is castigated for having frittered away public money on an endless stream of apparently useless projects aimed at improving the inner‑city situation. These criticisms and the article's concluding recommendations are all too reminiscent of so much of the literature devoted to "those Inner Cities" ever since the issue was brought to the forefront of the political arena at the end of the 1960s.i In 1986, Lord Scarman chaired a conference devoted to urban unrest during which many of the speakers quite openly expressed their bitterness, disappointment and exasperation at having to repeat yet again what they had been stating for years.ii Their "I told you so" attitude bears witness to the ever‑widening gap between what was needed to revive the inner‑city areas and what was actually being done. Their words fell once again on deaf ears. My aim here is not to imitate the Independent and expound upon the alleged shortcomings of government spending in the field of inner cities. Vast sums of money have perhaps been wasted on trying to stamp out decay in some of Britain's most underprivileged urban areas, but defining the problems to be solved has also generated a great deal of waste and frustration. To highlight this I propose to take a step back in time to examine the first faltering steps of the Urban Programme (UP) and more particularly one of its most important offspring, the Community Development Projects (CDPs). The CDPs were established in 1969 and served as a breeding‑ground for inner‑city policies to mature in, but withered on the vine when the enhanced Urban Programme was launched in 1977 following the government White Paper, Policy for the Inner Cities.iii This document is often described as a watershed in government commitment to inner cities policies and although it widely predicated upon the Inner Area Studies, the CDPs played their part in informing the new approach.iv In this case, the money engulfed by the CDPs was not entirely wasted and although it might not have served its primary purpose, it most certainly enabled researchers to produce substantial empirical material concerning urban decay. Whether this was put to (good) use or not, there is no denying that the CDPs were milestones in the debate on the etiology of the inner‑city crisis.
Type de document :
Chapitre d'ouvrage
Monica CHARLOT. Britain's Inner Cities, Ophrys-Ploton,, pp. 9-23., 1994
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Timothy Whitton. The Impact of the Community Development Projects on Assessing Urban Deprivation. Monica CHARLOT. Britain's Inner Cities, Ophrys-Ploton,, pp. 9-23., 1994. 〈hal-01017263〉

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