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‘If You Build It, They Will Come’: Governing property-led rural regeneration in Ireland

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Menelaos GkartziosORCiD


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This article examines the governance of rural regeneration in the Republic of Ireland, through the case of the Rural Renewal Scheme (RRS), which provided fiscal incentives to subsidise the construction and renovation of housing and business premises in a declining rural region. It reveals that the RRS has been successful in achieving two of its key objectives – stemming population decline and increasing housing output. It has also contributed to significant employment generation, albeit mainly in construction, which is unlikely to be sustainable over the longer term. However, the RRS was incompatible with sustainable rural development of its target region because it has resulted in significant negative unintended impacts, most notably excess housing output, which in turn has contributed to high vacancy rates. These impacts are linked to over centralised programme design and implementation, a particular pro development ethos among rural local authorities and poor linkages between the RRS and wider rural and regional development policies. Thus, this case raises questions about the authenticity of multi-level rural governance which has been widely reported in rural development and planning academic discourse internationally and in Ireland, and about the appropriateness of property-led regeneration interventions to the rural context.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gkartzios M, Norris M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Land Use Policy

Year: 2011

Volume: 28

Issue: 3

Pages: 486-494

Print publication date: 11/11/2010

ISSN (print): 0264-8377

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5754

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2010.10.002


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