The transformative potential of civic enterprise

Hendrik Wagenaar, Patsy Healey, Giovanni Laino, Patsy Healey, Geoff Vigar, Sebastià Riutort Isern, Thomas Honeck, Joost Beunderman, Jurgen van der Heijden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


In the present economic and policy climate in Europe there is both a demand and an opportunity for community initiatives and civic enterprises to develop alternative ways of promoting development and delivering services on a significant scale (Healey, 2015; Wagenaar & van der Heijden, 2015). There have been previous periods when such community initiatives have been encouraged. These so-called social enterprises were part of nationally, even EU-sponsored, drives to fight geographically concentrated poverty and social exclusion, but the incompatibility between the scale of the problems and the lack of resources resulted in many short-lived and disappointing initiatives (Amin, Cameron, & Hudson, 2002). With the difficulties of maintaining the welfare state in its twentieth-century form, and the potentially long-lasting economic problems facing many countries and regions in Europe, community initiatives are playing an expanding role in experimenting with new models of the delivery of social goods and services and meeting local needs. This Interface explores this phenomenon and considers its potential to transform not just service delivery but the quality of democratic life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-585
Number of pages29
JournalPlanning Theory and Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


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