Evaluating the community impacts of urban policy

B. Murtagh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


The complex process of spatial restructuring has forged new alliances, forms of governance and planning methods in urban regeneration. Community interests have moved to the centre of this task and find expression in area partnerships, consultation methods and in the implementation of action strategies. This shift in emphasis has brought with it important methodological challenges. As policy increasingly embraces social objectives and targets less resources on physical and economic aims, then new ways of measurement, monitoring and evaluation need to be explored. The present paper examines ways in which competing frameworks might be reconciled by the application of different research instruments within a single evaluation design. The paper briefly reviews evaluation practice and defines some of the methodological challenges to evaluators. It then discusses a case study of urban policy in Derry, Northern Ireland which has adopted a range of measurement approaches aiming to reflect the plurality of purpose in regeneration programmes for the city. The paper concludes by highlighting the need to challenge techno-rational approaches to evaluation where policies are specifically directed by socio-political objectives, but to ensure that the evaluator maintains the objectivity necessary to produce valid and reliable data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
JournalPlanning Practice and Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development

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