Towards an Understanding of the Economies of Neighbourhoods and Communities
Edited by Maarten van Ham, Darja Reuschke, Reinout Kleinhans, Colin Mason and Stephen Syrett
Chapter 10: The potential of community entrepreneurship for neighbourhood revitalization in the United Kingdom and the United States
The global economic crisis has had a major impact on government spending for urban regeneration. In the context of these austerity regimes, in many European countries, community entrepreneurship and active citizenship are increasingly considered as a means to continue small-scale urban revitalization. This chapter investigates recent literature on both British community enterprises (CEs) and American community development corporations (CDCs). The aim is to assess the current potential of community entrepreneurship in neighbourhood revitalization in the United States and the United Kingdom. Starting from a seminal article, this chapter reviews literature focusing on the role of CEs and CDCs in neighbourhood revitalization. Differences and similarities are analysed, taking into account national context differences. While CDCs have a relatively successful record in affordable housing production in distressed areas, CDCs are fundamentally limited in terms of reversing processes of community decline. CEs in the UK have focused on non-housing issues. Our comparison reveals similarities but also differences with regard to aims, organizational characteristics, cooperation on multiple scales, and community participation. Apart from lessons that can be learned, we provide recommendations for further research that should cover the lack of empirical evidence in this field.
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