Category Archives: Articles Posted On Hilary’s Professional Website

Green Hubs As Social Inclusion And Community Engagement

Summary: Here we look at a possible framework for concepts about public space, culture, knowledge, community engagement and inclusion. This is not to challenge current ideas about the sustainable development of public space, but to offer additional, interlinked perspectives on the importance of culture and knowledge in resilience, engagement, community cohesion and sense of place.

To read more of this article and to comment, please visit Hilary’s professional website here.

Unmasking Age: The Significance Of Age For Social Research [Bill Bytheway]

Summary: I’d urge absolutely everyone who has a professional concern for ageing to read this book. It offers fresh perspectives on and a very significant contribution to our understanding of difficult matters. Not only researchers (whether social or, e.g., medical) but also policy makers, practitioners, clinicians, journalists and many others will find their insights into this complex issue enriched by what Bill Bytheway, a social gerontologist and policy commentator of many years’ standing, has to tell us.
To read more of this review and to comment, please visit Hilary’s professional website here.

Is ‘Ruin Porn’ A Good Approach To Regeneration?

Summary: The Centre for Cities 2011 report published in January makes for interesting reading, especially in its focus on the challenges ahead for places like my home town of Liverpool. The debate at the launch – which, sadly, I had to miss – will have been compelling.
The Centre’s 2011 projections are fairly upbeat for locations such as Bristol and Edinburgh for other cities such as Liverpool (and Birkenhead), Newport and Swansea is measured and dire.

To read more of this article and to comment, please visit Hilary’s professional website HERE.

Big Society Voluntarism Harms The Knowledge Base

Summary: The Big Society so far is no fun at all. I seem to be spending my time (voluntarily) offering www-style tea and sympathy all round.  Almost daily emails arrive from hard-working and committed contacts, saying that their job is coming to an end and they have no clear idea what will happen next. Grim policies mean unemployment stats will get worse still, but much more is being lost than is measured. There’s no provision to retain core knowledge or maintain legacy.

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For The Truth About British Society, Follow The (Housing) Money

Summary: The Chartered Institute of Housing, Shelter, Rowan Williams and Boris Johnson all seem to agree; whether social housing can continue to exist in the wealthier parts of the UK – mostly the south of England – is doubtful, following the autumn 2010 spending review.   We focus mostly on people at risk of homelessness, but that is only half the picture…. How many people from southern England travel to work for a while in the north, but still own property in the south?

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Talking Is Key To Engagement, But Do We Know How?

Summary: Why do most of us spend such little time communication in communities?   Support for bonding between parents and dependent children is surely a critical element in community life.   When it comes to effective communication, early years practitioners and researchers can tell us much. Their programmes benefit whole communities, not ‘just’ infants and their carers.

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Does Old Age Have To Mean Life On The Sidelines?

Summary: What happens to people as they get older? What should be the starting points for more consideration of this vexed question? With post-war babies currently reaching retirement and many of their parents still alive, the number of elderly people in the UK is increasing dramatically. But socio-economic infrastructure still often lags behind.
Whilst never unimportant, advanced old age was until quite recently not a widespread issue. There is now a pressing need to understand better how to accommodate and respond to this shift in the UK’s demographic.

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Communities Are Much More Than Localities

map of a localitySummary: The new agenda in regeneration is beginning to emerge, and with it will emerge also a new lexicon. Each of us will have their own priorities for terminological redefinition. Mine is to re-examine the meaning/s of ‘community’. Communities are not just localities; they are as many and various as the individuals who describe them, but this is rarely reflected in thinking on regeneration or social policy.

Visit Hilary’s professional website here to read more and post your comments on this article.

Move On If You’re Monied (Or Now Alone)

social housingSummary: The status is still unclear of recent proposals that social housing (‘council housing’ and the like in old parlance) be only for those in greatest financial need. But whether simply political musing, or seriously on the agenda, these propositions are, even just for starters, a very bad idea. And so, without very careful preparation, is the idea that if family changes mean your house becomes ‘underoccupied’, or you are job-seeking, you must move on.
Such proposals miss the point that people live in communities, not isolation; and communities require a degree of stability. These ideas can result only in one thing – more so-called ‘no hope’ estates, and fast.

Visit Hilary’s professional website here to read more and post your comments on this article.

Brokering For Adequacy In Austerity

empty chairsSummary: There’s little most of us as individuals can add to general commentary about the current fierce financial cuts; but there is perhaps a real role for brokerage, undertaken by non-partisan cross-industry bodies, to find a way forward.

The first priority, beyond politics, must surely be to minimise harm as far as possible in the face of a grim determination to reduce public spending at any cost.

Visit Hilary’s professional website here to read more and post your comments on this article.

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