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

Jesper Ole Jensen, Annika Agger

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Area-based initiatives (ABIs) is a frequently used strategy within contemporary urban regeneration policies to tackle physical and social challenges in deprived neighbourhoods. A central characteristic of their approach is active involvement of local stakeholders as part of making robust and lasting improvements. The claim raised in this article is that urban regeneration mobilizes citizens through a narrow perception of “voluntarism” that tends to exclude vulnerable and socially marginalized citizens. The article presents a typology of voluntarism that makes a distinction between (a) social voluntarism, (b) civic voluntarism and (c) hybrid voluntarism, combining non-paid voluntarism with pro-profit activities. Empirically, we draw on studies from ABIs in Denmark where collaboration with charity organizations and hybrid organizations has been used to mobilize marginalized citizens in the urban regeneration areas. We find that collaborations with charity-based and hybrid organizations are sparse and small-scale so far, but appear promising with regards to involve socially vulnerable groups.

Original languageEnglish
JournalVOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
VolumeOnline first
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2021

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