A Tale of Two Cities

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A Tale of Two Cities

Learning to develop more effective strategies to tackle urban disadvantage

Fatima Community Centre Wednesday May 19 th 2010

The focus of the Seminar

Why do some areas improve in terms of the outcomes for residents or an improvement in the effectiveness of statutory services so much more quickly than others?

What are the core ingredients to turn things around, to begin to get better employment, education and quality of life options for residents and their children?

How are the needs of the most marginalised safeguarded and integrated within local and regional development initiatives?

These questions pose particular challenges to those involved in combating disadvantage in urban areas, especially in the context of considerably reduced resources being available in the medium term. In addition, the possibility of further developing private sector investment in regeneration and social renewal has been dealt a blow as a result of the property collapse. Despite this less than favourable landscape, effective responses will have to developed in order to make a meaningful impact on the quality of people’s lives in inner city areas, in housing estates on the periphery of major urban centres and in the many provincial towns where the effects are equally present, if sometimes less visible.

This seminar aims to get beyond the ‘blame game’, to overcome frustration, cynicism and disappointment and to begin to objectively name the blockages, concretise the lessons and identify the key elements and formulae that will enable a new, more inventive and coordinated assault on urban disadvantage.

The purpose of the seminar

To begin to think about strategic responses to urban disadvantage, to inform ourselves about what worked and what patently failed to work, to identify what we have learnt and how we fail to learn, and to begin to think in terms of multi-sector, combined agency approaches that bring coherence and efficiency by harnessing and applying all of the available resources and expertise in a coordinated and tactically applied way.


The aim of the seminar is to provide a space for reflection, learning and the formulation of effective strategies to counter urban disadvantage.

The specific objectives are:

1. To outline good practice that has contributed to positive changes in disadvantaged urban areas.

2. To isolate the core factors which frustrate or prevent the development of coordination and cooperation across agencies and between sectors in tackling urban disadvantage.

3. To identify the key ingredients required for successful strategic responses to urban disadvantage.

Last modified:20/08/2010

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