Between fulfilment and vitiation – Discerning incapacitation in urban regeneration

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


    This dissertation highlights and discusses incapacitation in urban regeneration. The synopsis reviews the urban regeneration literature on the central motivations and tactics of urban regeneration and takes two common combinations – competitive city through megaprojects and liveable city through bottom-up interventions – under further scrutiny. This serves as a bridge to the research contribution, which proposes a selection of antidotes to incapacitation, based on the four journal articles. The incapacitating mechanisms include the problem of forgotten problems, the self serving role of flagship projects as well as the low standing of knowledge and local expertise. To release regeneration practices from incapacitation, a series of methodological, theoretical and practical tools are then presented. These antidotes include overcoming the effects of incapacitating power through learning; revealing the one-sidedness of regeneration recipes; and, connecting with place-based knowledge interfaces. The case studies are from Germany (Duisburg and Stuttgart), Finland (the intermunicipal development zone of Kuninkaankolmio within the Helsinki Metropolitan Region) and the US (Pacific Beach, San Diego). The synopsis ends up pondering the possibility of a 'praxis with integrity' in urban regeneration. Could it be that praxis without unbearable contradictions is possible – in such a way that urban regeneration that is at once tactically skilful, politically conscious and morally motivated can be carried out? In the light of this study such a praxis would have to strive for a thorough understanding of the targeted places in order not to lose touch of the very problems that urban regeneration is trying to solve. It would also be able to resist the self serving solutions which are constantly being introduced, despite their well-known risks and limitations.
    Translated title of the contributionKaupunkien kehittämisprojektit täyttymyksen ja vesittymisen välimaastossa
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor's degree
    Awarding Institution
    • Aalto University
    • Kyttä, Marketta, Supervising Professor
    • Kyttä, Marketta, Supervising Professor
    Print ISBNs978-952-60-6468-0
    Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-6469-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


    • urban regeneration
    • competitiveness
    • liveability
    • megaprojects
    • place-based approach
    • PPGIS


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