Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Evaluating the Socio-Economic Impacts of Selected Regenerated Heritage Sites in Europe. European Cultural Foundation

Labadi, Sophia (2011) Evaluating the Socio-Economic Impacts of Selected Regenerated Heritage Sites in Europe. European Cultural Foundation. European cultural foundation, 129 pp. ISBN 978-90-6282-054-2. (KAR id:38179)


Over and over again, in much quoted research, a new orthodoxy is expounded: culture-led development or regeneration stimulates significant positive economic and social outcomes,including creating employment and strengthening of social cohesion, inclusion and collective identity. The methodology and findings of these publications are, however, being challenged, with critics regularly calling for more robust evidence on the socio-economic impacts of culture-based development or regeneration projects and for more rigorous evaluation of the shortcomings of such schemes. Such calls for improved evaluation are also a rejection of the more simplistic assertions and grandiose generalisations about the assumed benefits of ‘culture’. This research project is a response to that call and is based on in-depth analyses of four cases studies in England, France and Poland. In conclusion, the report stresses the importance of regionalising the regeneration process, to ensure that its benefits are shared geographically and are sustainable. It is critical of the very broad definition of ‘culture’ and ‘heritage’ used in all four schemes which, in aiming to target as wide a public as possible, has led to an emphasis on ‘spectacle’ and stimulation, resulting in superficial and trivialised cultural events, sometimes not in any way connected to the locality in which they are set. Secondly the report considers the main issues with the evaluation models and findings, which are highlighted all through this report. It draws attention to the lack of primary and secondary data available to the evaluators, which sometimes forced them to base their assessments on the broadest of estimates. Such lack of data prevented the possibility of constructing longitudinal series of data on the long-term impact of regeneration. Focusing on the three official evaluations (The Lowry, Liverpool Walk Ropes and Lille 2004), the report shows how they were flawed by from ‘optimism bias’ – they were overtly optimistic in the benefits delivery of the projects. Finally, no evidence was found linking the regeneration scheme to social cohesion and inclusion.

Item Type: Book
Uncontrolled keywords: heritage, regeneration, Europe, gentrification, social and economic impacts
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Sophia Labadi
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2014 10:07 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:14 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.