Environmental risk perception and urban renewal in the West Midlands, UK

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Abstract

Summary

This is a report of a social environmental audit of urban renewal schemes based on an investigation of environmental hazard risk perceptions of people in their homes, workplaces and other places of urban activity, in the vicinity of five major renewal sites in Sandwell, West Midlands, UK. The selection of the renewal schemes was designed to incorporate a range of the types of contemporary urban development in the UK. People were asked to give a scaled score response reflecting the perceived magnitude of risk of each of a series of hazards. Each person was asked to give two responses to each hazard, one response referring to the actual present situation post-renewal and the second response referring to an imagined present situation as if renewal had not occurred. The statistical analysis of the responses suggested that urban renewal had brought about an increase in certain perceived environmental risks and not necessarily a more desirable perceived environmental state than the alternative of dereliction.

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