Urban renewal and the ‘Just City’: Examining the potentiality of a co-operative Manchester city-region.


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis examines the management of urban renewal policy and practice during a five-year period (2010-2015) in the Manchester City- Region. It is set within a context of recession and a Conservative-led Coalition government. The study draws upon and adapts Susan Fainstein’s concept and criteria of the ‘Just City’ (2010) and the specific focus of this work is to see if the city-region has the potential to be a just city. Qualitative data collection has mainly involved a series of semi-structured interviews, based on three core research questions, with key decision makers in various layers of the city-region from within the public, private and community/voluntary sectors.
Findings suggest that Salford and Manchester each have the potential to contribute to a just city. This is despite the challenges of recession, austerity urbanism and a continual focus upon economically-driven processes as a catalyst for change. Within these processes, the findings demonstrate that there are differing attitudes between, and within, the two places in terms of a shared understanding of leadership, cross-sector relationships and ways of working together. Significantly, having taken the idea of the just city concept and reworked this in a particular way via the case studies, what has emerged is the ‘co-operative city’.
Set within a broader politico-economic context of the move to devolution and the backdrop of austerity, the claim to originality is done through interrogating and adapting Fainstein’s notion of the ‘just city’, to position co-operative working as central to an understanding of how social justice might be better promoted and realised in the Manchester City- Region. More specifically this work claims that co-operative working is central to an understanding of the mechanisms and processes of how the ‘just city’ might be brought about and is considered as a fourth criteria to those identified by Fainstein.
Date of Award14 Jun 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Edge Hill University
SupervisorJOHN DIAMOND (Director of Studies)


  • Social Justice
  • Urban Renewal
  • Regeneration
  • Co-operative
  • Diversity
  • Democracy
  • Manchester
  • Salford
  • City-Region
  • Devolution

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