The photo below was taken on December 30th 2010. It’s the kind of image that most of us in the world of urban renewal are using to seeing. Yet this picture has a special resonance for me because it’s the house in Kirkby where I grew up. It didn’t look like that when my family moved in, in 1985, or when we left in 1996. Fifteen years later, and after a period of investment in new housebuilding, neighbourhood renewal and frontline public services in places like Kirkby, it looks like the clichéd front-cover of a grim report about urban decay. For readers who aren’t familiar with Kirkby, much of the town was planned and built in the 1960s to accommodate families displaced by reconstruction in Liverpool and workers in the newly built industrial estate and nearby factories. Many of the new jobs didn’t materialise, some of the old ones disappeared … (To read the full article, subscribe below)
John P. Houghton is a freelance public policy consultant.
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