A Red Road to Regeneration in Scotland? (2014)


In this paper, at the outset, regeneration is defined and the ways in which regeneration has been pursued in Scotland, past and present, are described (What is Regeneration?), before moving on to consider the evidence of multi-dimensional problems in place. The scale of economic, social and environmental challenges facing many localities in Scotland is indicative that regeneration matters, both to particular localities and to Scotland as a whole (Scale of the Challenge). However, it is important to exercise caution when reflecting on this evidence. In theory, the need for regeneration strategies need not necessarily signify a national problem or a failing of earlier approaches to regeneration. On the other hand, in reality, the enduring status of the Raplochs, Riddries, Craigneuks, Easterhouses, Lincludens, Whitfields, Torrys and the like among Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas is suggestive of  the need for a bolder approach (Understanding the Failure of Regeneration in Scotland). 
Having reviewed and critiqued the landscape of regeneration in contemporary Scotland, attention returns to Red Road and the lessons that can be learned from those ten days in the spotlight in the Spring of 2014 (Returning to Red Road: Can redirection follow reversal?).  Red Road indicates that not all is well with regeneration in Scotland. It is argued that, regeneration in Scotland should take a different tack; an approach is proposed that is grounded in Common Weal principles (Principles for Regenerating Scotland’s Disadvantaged Communities).  Finally, by way of conclusion, these principles are articulated as concrete strategies and priorities, each of which reflects a concern with the ‘undervalued everyday’ that makes a tangible difference to the quality of lives as lived in the here-and-now (Thinking Small is Thinking Big: Rethinking regeneration).