As part of its research, CUPS (Centre for Urban Policy Studies) has developed an innovative functional typology of deprived neighbourhoods. This website outlines the methods used to derive the typology and discusses some of the results that emerge across the 20% most deprived small areas in England. The Map section enables users to identify individual neighbourhoods.

Brian Robson, working with two CUPS researchers - Kitty Lymperopoulou and Alasdair Rae, developed a functional typology of deprived areas to capture the dynamic nature of neighbourhoods, as part of an evaluation of the government's strategy for neighbourhood renewal. Neighbourhoods are regarded, not as static fixed entities, but as dynamic spatial containers through which households move as they may – or may not – improve their socio-economic position in the housing and labour markets. Four types of deprived neighbourhood were identified based on the level of deprivation of areas to which most out-migrants moved and the areas from which most in-migrants came. They are:

Household moves from and to deprived areas
  • Escalators: most incomers come from similar or more deprived areas and most out-movers go to less deprived areas. Hence, these neighbourhoods represent a process of upward progression through housing and labour markets.
  • Gentrifiers: the social composition of these areas is altered since most in-movers come from less deprived areas and most out-movers go to equally or more deprived locations. While this may not entail the physical displacement of poor households, it can be seen as a form of gentrification as the areas will 'improve' their social composition over time.
  • Isolates: these are areas where most inmovers and most outmovers both come from and go to similarly or more deprived neighbourhoods. They can therefore be thought of as areas with a largely 'trapped' population only able to move from one deprived area to another. Hence they are socially more isolated in the context of the housing market.
  • Transits: most in and out movers come from and go to less deprived areas. Typically, this will represent the early move onto the housing ladder for young households not yet able to afford more expensive homes.

The most compelling evidence of the robustness of the typology is the spatial pattern of the four neighbourhood types (shown in the Map section). The typology was used by Government in its latest Framework for Regeneration to suggest ways in which regeneration agencies might target areas and develop appropriate intervention strategies (see reference in the Publications page).