Boundary spanning for community based urban regeneration

International research project ‘Boundary spanning for community based urban regeneration’. Projectleader: Dr. Ingmar van Meerkerk.

In this international comparative research, the evolution of the interplay between community self-organization and government is examined. The main question addressed in this projects is: How does the interplay between community self-organization and local governments in the context of urban regeneration evolve, how can that be explained and what are important boundary spanning skills, activities and challenges in this respect?

There is a lack of knowledge about the interplay between citizen initiatives and governments. The type of interplay (co-production, co-destruction, avoidance, etc.) can be very different. This research tries to gain more knowledge about how we can explain the type of relationship emerging. It uses an international comparative case study approach. An important factor in which is considered in this research concerns the interplay between so-called boundary spanners at both sides of the state – community boundary. Previous research has indicated the importance of these boundary spanners for effective and sustainable interaction and collaboration between citizen initiatives and governments (Van Meerkerk, 2014; Van Meerkerk et al., 2013). This research will therefore particularly focus on their activities, skills and challenges. In this way specific knowledge about how sustainable relationships between governments and community self-organization can emerge can be further developed. The specific focus on community leaders’ and civil servants’ boundary spanning skills and boundary spanning activities also enables the valorization of research results and aims to assist governments and community leaders in developing sustainable co-production in dealing with urban regeneration. Comparison between countries further provides the opportunity for taking the institutional context into account. For this research different cases of community self-organization (particularly community enterprises) in the Netherlands, India and the United Kingdom are examined.