Table of Contents

Introduction.
Summary.
Part 1. Understanding the Challenge of Distressed Urban Areas.
Chapter 1. Patterns of Deprivation: Diversity and Commonalities.
Chapter 2. Mechanisms and Cycles of Decline.
Chapter 3. Rising Economic and Social Costs.
Part II. The Policy Response.
Chapter 4. Emerging Trends in Urban Policy.
Chapter 5. Conclusions and New Policy Directions.
Annex 1. Defining High Risk Areas and Measuring Their Extent.
Annex 2. The Role of Data in Policies for Distressed Areas.
Annex 3. Summary of Case Study Analysis of Disparities in Selected Urban Areas.
References Distressed urban areas threaten social cohesion in urban regions, the very centre of our economies. This problem can be traced to no single cause; rather it represents a combination of environmental, economic, social and cultural circumstances that take spatial form in different parts of inner cities and suburbs. Traditional policies have not succeeded in halting the downward spiral that effects these areas because they were unable to address the complex and area-based nature of the problem at the local level. The aim of this study is to describe this phenomenon and analyse policies implemented in OECD countries, so as to come up with multisectoral policies that are better suited to the problems they have to address.Policy objectives include attracting investment, creating jobs, rebuilding sound economic and social foundations and, more generally, combatting the isolation from which distressed urban areas suffer. Different levels of government, civic society and the private sector all have roles to play. There is an urgent need for integrative policies based on reinforcement of the local dimension and on partnerships that bring all the actors together.
Distressed urban areas threaten social cohesion in urban regions, the very centre of our economies. This problem can be traced to no single cause; rather it represents a combination of environmental, economic, social and cultural circumstances that take spatial form in different parts of inner cities and suburbs. Traditional policies have not succeeded in halting the downward spiral that effects these areas because they were unable to address the complex and area-based nature of the problem at the local level. The aim of this study is to describe this phenomenon and analyse policies implemented in OECD countries, so as to come up with multisectoral policies that are better suited to the problems they have to address.Policy objectives include attracting investment, creating jobs, rebuilding sound economic and social foundations and, more generally, combatting the isolation from which distressed urban areas suffer. Different levels of government, civic society and the private sector all have roles to play. There is an urgent need for integrative policies based on reinforcement of the local dimension and on partnerships that bring all the actors together.