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‘Us and them’: A mindset that has failed our communities

13 Dec 2021

This essay, written by David Boyle and Steve Wyler, seeks to answer an important question: why have the last three decades of community development initiatives left us with so many ‘left behind’ places and so much inequality?

Boyle and Wyler use this essay as a moment to take stock; looking back on decades of local regeneration policy, but also on the past two years, and everything we have learnt about our communities and society through the COVID-19 pandemic. In doing so, they seek to draw out learning from the past so better decisions can be made for the future, marking out successes and failures to help us better understand what needs to happen next to level up our communities and truly overcome geographical inequalities for good.

About the Author
David Boyle & Steve Wyler

David Boyle is the author of a range of books about history, social change, politics and the future. He has been editor of a number of publications including Town & Country PlanningCommunity NetworkNew EconomicsLiberal Democrat News and Radical Economics. He is a fellow of the New Economics Foundation.

Steve Wyler is an independent consultant, researcher and writer in the social sector. He also co-convenes A Better Way. From 2000 to 2014, he was CEO of Locality, a national network of community organisations dedicated to community enterprise, community ownership and social change.