Can Deprived Housing Areas Be Revitalised?
Can Deprived Housing Areas Be Revitalised? Efforts against Segregation and Neighbourhood Decay in Denmark and Europe
Hans Skifter Andersen
[Paper rst received, August 2000; in nal form, July 2001]
Summary. Research literature on area-based initiatives in deprived urban areas in Europe shows that there is no general agreement on the purpose of such revitalisation programmes. Evaluations of the programmes come to very different conclusions on the effects of the efforts, but the majority are negative in the sense that they nd that conditions have not improved in the supported areas. An important reason for this is our uncertain understanding of the nature of deprived areas. In Denmark, an extensive effort in 500 deprived social housing estates during 1995– 98 had as one of its main purposes the combatting of processes leading to increased deprivation. These estates had increasingly lost competitiveness in the housing market, due to the perception that they had become ‘excluded places’. The main instruments have been rent decreases, physical improvements and support for organisational and social changes. An exten- sive research evaluation of the programme has shown that this strategy has stopped the negative trends in the estates, but also that further and longer-term efforts wil be needed to create new and positive development.