Voluntarism in Urban regeneration: Civic, charity or hybrid? Experiences from Danish area-based interventions.

Jesper Ole Jensen, Annika Agger

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskning


Many contemporary urban regeneration policies highlight the importance of involving local stakeholders as part of making robust and lasting improvements. Area-based-initiatives (ABI’s) is a frequent used strategy to tackle both physical and social challenges in deprived neighborhoods, and a central characteristic of their approach is active involvement of local stakeholders, through interest-based-forms of voluntarism. The claim raised in this article is, that urban regeneration often takes place in deprived areas with a relatively high number of vulnerable and socially marginalized citizens that are not reached through these type of approaches. This is problematic, since the presence of the marginalized citizens is a main reason for appointing urban areas for ABI’s programs.
Our argument is then, that we need a more nuanced understanding of various forms of 'voluntarism' that can help target different types of audiences in deprived neighbourhoods. The article presents a vocabulary for understanding 'voluntarism' and makes a distinction between a) interest-based (or civic) voluntarism, b) charity-based voluntarism, and c) hybrid voluntarism, combining non-paid voluntarism with pro-profit activities. Empirically, we draw on studies from different ABI’s in Denmark where collaboration with charity organisations and hybrid organisations have been used to mobilize marginalized citizens in the urban regeneration areas. We find that collaborations with charity-based and hybrid organisations are sparse and small-scale so far, but appears promising with regards to involve socially vulnerable groups.

ArtikelnummerDOI: 10.1007/s11266-020-00297-4
TidsskriftVOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
StatusAccepteret/In press - 17 nov. 2020


  • area-based initiatives, voluntarism, interest-based voluntarism, charity-based voluntarism, hybrid voluntarism

Citer dette