Co-Production: A new perspective on partnership
A growing number of practitioners and policy makers use the term ‘co-production’ to describe collaborative processes through which different actors are engaged in regeneration. Quite often we use ‘co-production’ as a replacement for ‘partnership working’ without being aware that these terms contain important distinctions which influence our view on what integrated approaches to regeneration should look like. This article suggests a definition of ‘co-production’ as well as terms that are closely related to it, such as co-management and co-governance. Then a number of examples from the URBACT sponsored SURE network are used to illustrate how core elements of collaborative regeneration practice can be accurately described by this terminology. The benefits of thinking about the ‘co-production of regeneration’ are then discussed and contrasted with the traditional approach towards ‘partnership working’ in urban regeneration contexts. The article concludes by identifying a number of implications for both policy makers and practitioners concerned with the further development of integrated approaches to urban regeneration.