Scottish Longitudinal Study
Development & Support Unit
Does area regeneration improve residents’ health & well-being?
Daryll Archibald (University of St Andrews)
Paul Boyle (University of St Andrews)
Approved on 07-12-2009
Over £11 billion has been spent on area regeneration initiatives in England alone over the last twenty years. The potential to combat deprivation, improve health and reduce health inequalities is used as justification for such a large-scale investment (Thomson et al. 2006). Nevertheless, evaluation of these initiatives has been limited and those studies which do exist have produced conflicting evidence. Some regeneration programmes appear to have had positive effects on health and socio-economic status, others have had no, or even a detrimental effect. This may, however, be attributed to difficulties in designing appropriate evaluation studies rather than the effects of regeneration per say (Dabinett 2001 et al.; Rhodes et al. 2005). For example, few studies have been able to follow individuals over time to explore their changing circumstances in relation to the regeneration process (Cotterill et al. 2008). Other evaluations have relied on cross-sectional designs that compare population characteristics in an area before and after regeneration, ignoring the fact that the resident population may have changed substantially.
This research will explore the effects of area regeneration on people’s health and well-being using a robust mixed-methods approach that encompasses a national-level analysis using the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS) (alongside the collection of primary data in Fife during the implementation of a regeneration initiative). The health, employment and educational implications of regeneration will be focused on by comparing outcomes for three groups of people:
- those who have lived in regeneration areas in 1991 and 2001;
- those who lived in such areas in 1991 but had left by 2001;
- those who were living somewhere else in 1991 but had arrived by 2001.
Outcomes for three similar groups living in significantly deprived areas in Scotland that did not experience regeneration between 1991 and 2001 will be compared in order to identify effects that cannot be ascribed to regeneration, thus aiming to shed light on long-term changing patterns of deprivation and their relationship to health and well-being in Scotland.
The central aim of this study is to explore the effects of area regeneration on people’s health and well-being by:
- Comparing outcomes for the following three groups of people:
- Those who have lived in regeneration areas in 1991 and 2001.
- Those who have lived in such areas in 1991 but had left by 2001.
- Those living elsewhere in 1991 but had arrived in regenerated areas by 2001.
- Comparing outcomes for three similar groups who live in similarly deprived areas in Scotland that did not experience regeneration between 1991 and 2001 to allow the identification of effects that cannot be ascribed to regeneration.
Cotterill, S., et al., (2008) Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of the Health Impacts of the New Deal for Communities Urban Regeneration Scheme. Critical Public Health. Vol.18, No. 3. pp 311-332.
Dabinett, G., et al., (2001) A Review of the Evidence Base for Regeneration Policy and Practice. London: Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions.
Rhodes, J., et al., (2005) Assessing the Effect of Area Based Initiatives on Local Area Outcomes: Some Thoughts Based on the National Evaluation of the Single Regeneration Budget in England. Urban Studies. 42 (11) pp. 1919-1946.
Thomson, H., et al., (2006) Do Urban Regeneration Programmes Improve Public Health and Reduce Health Inequalities? A Synthesis of the Evidence From U.K. Policy and Practice From (1980- 2004). Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health: 60: (2): pp. 108-115.