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Evaluating housing and neighbourhood initiatives to improve the quality of life in deprived urban areas

Arild Holt-Jensen
GeoJournal
Vol. 51, No. 4, Social Exclusions and Community Initiatives (2000), pp. 281-291
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41147528
Page Count: 11
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Evaluating housing and neighbourhood initiatives to improve the quality of life in deprived urban areas
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Abstract

Changes in the urban social geography; the development of urban neighbourhoods of multiple deprivation, in which different processes of social exclusion reinforce one another, is a grave challenge to the European society. Housing initiatives and local neighbourhood practices seem to be key factors in finding solutions in combating social exclusion and improving the quality of life in deprived urban neighbourhoods. The OECD-report 'Integrating distressed urban areas' (Paris, 1998) states that a combination of policies focusing on specific urban areas and more general socio-economic measures are necessary to integrate such areas into the fabric of the cities. This evaluation of bottom-up neighbourhood solutions, within their national contexts, is the central focus of a European research project (NEHOM) involving housing researchers and providers in 8 European countries. Pilot case studies have been undertaken in United Kingdom, Norway and Hungary to test a common case study methodology. Using a range of indicators of improvements in the quality of life in case study areas, the research will seek to identify innovative housing initiatives and neighbourhood practices, as well as a toolkit for neighbourhood assessment and improvement. A special challenge for the research project is to assess and identify opportunities for and barriers to transferability of best practices and housing policies between European countries.

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