Assessing the impact of area-based initiatives in deprived neighborhoods: The example of S. João de Deus in Porto, Portugal
Though there have been many area-based initiatives to regenerate rundown areas in numerous cities around the world, many of them involving the demolition of stigmatized housing estates, far fewer attempts have been made to assess the effects of these initiatives upon the fortunes of displaced households and those who remain in these areas. By presenting the results of an empirical in-depth case study on the effects of an area-based initiative targeted at one of the most deprived neighborhoods in Porto, this article raises several epistemological concerns related to the goals, ideological assumptions, and social and spatial effects of these initiatives. Among other interrelated issues, the article discusses the impact of conflicting ideologies upon processes of radical strategy shift and of social and territorial marginalization and appeals to the need for more pluralistic approaches to evaluation.
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