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Cityscape: Volume 15 Number 2 | Article 3


The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Mixed Messages on Mixed Incomes

Volume 15 Number 2

Mark D. Shroder

Michelle P. Matuga

Mixed-Tenure Orthodoxy: Practitioner Reflections on Policy Effects

Ade Kearns
University of Glasgow

Martin McKee
UK Medical Research Council

Elena Sautkina
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

George Weeks
Transport for London

Lyndal Bond
Centre for Excellence in Intervention and Prevention Science


This article examines mixed tenure as a policy orthodoxy. It first sets out how mixed tenure may be considered to constitute an orthodoxy within planning, being generally accepted as a theory and practice even in the absence of supporting evidence. Five elements of this orthodoxy are identified, relating to (1) housing and the environment, (2) social change, (3) economic impacts, (4) sustainable communities, (5) and sociospatial integration. Interviews with practitioners involved with three social housing estates that have experienced mixed-tenure policy interventions are reported to consider why the implementation and effects of mixed tenure might not correspond with the orthodox understanding. It is argued that policy ambiguity and weaknesses in policy theory and specification, alongside practical constraints, lie behind incomplete and counterproductive policy implementation, but a belief in pursuing the policy orthodoxy persists nevertheless.

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