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Urban renewal (also called urban regeneration in the United Kingdom and urban redevelopment in the United States[1]) is a program of land redevelopment often used to address urban decay in cities. Urban renewal is the clearing out of blighted areas in inner cities to clear out slums and create opportunities for higher class housing, businesses, and more. A primary purpose of urban renewal is to restore economic viability to a given area by attracting external private and public investment and by encouraging business start-ups and survival.[2]

Modern attempts at renewal began in the late 19th century in developed nations, and experienced an intense phase in the late 1940s under the rubric of reconstruction. The process has had a major impact on many urban landscapes and has played an important role in the history and demographics of cities around the world.

Urban renewal is a process where privately owned properties within a designated renewal area are purchased or taken by eminent domain by a municipal redevelopment authority, razed and then reconveyed to selected developers who devote them to other uses.

The concept of urban renewal as a method for social reform emerged in England as a reaction to the increasingly cramped and unsanitary conditions of the urban poor in the rapidly industrializing cities of the 19th century. The agenda that emerged was a progressive doctrine that assumed better housing conditions would reform its residents morally and economically. Another style of reform – imposed by the state for reasons of aesthetics and efficiency – could be said to have begun in 1853, with the recruitment of Baron Haussmann by Napoleon III for the redevelopment of Paris.

This process is also carried out in rural areas, referred to as village renewal, though it may not be exactly the same in practice.[3]

In some cases, renewal may result in urban sprawl when city infrastructure begins to include freeways and expressways.[4]

Urban renewal has been seen by proponents as an economic engine and a reform mechanism, and by critics as a mechanism for control. Though it may bring more wealth to communities, it may also edge out its preexisting residents. Some redevelopment projects have been failures, including the Kelo case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the taking by a 5 to 4 vote, but where nothing was built on the taken property.

Many cities link the revitalization of the central business district and gentrification of residential neighborhoods to earlier urban renewal programs. The goal of urban renewal evolved into a policy based less on destruction and more on renovation and investment, and today is an integral part of many local governments, often combined with small and big business incentives.

By country

Argentina

A project named Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires, transformed a large disused dock into a new luxury residential and commercial district.

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, Puerto Madero is a known example of an urban renewal project. In the 1990s, the Argentine government decided to build a new residential and commercial district to replace city's old port and docks. More than 50 skyscrapers have been built in the last 20 years. Puerto Madero is now Buenos Aires' most expensive and exclusive neighborhood.[citation needed]

Brazil

In Rio de Janeiro, the Porto Maravilha [pt] is a large-scale urban waterfront revitalization project, which covers a centrally located five million square meter area. The project aims to redevelop the port area, increasing the city center attractiveness as a whole and enhancing the city's competitiveness in the global economy. The urban renovation involves 700 km of public networks for water supply, sanitation, drainage, electricity, gas and telecom; 5 km of tunnels; 70 km of roads; 650 km2 of sidewalks; 17 km of bike path; 15.000 trees; and 3 plants for sanitation treatment.

Italy

In Italy, the concept of urban renewal had been having the classical meaning of "recovery", "re-use", and also "redevelopment" for many years. It has not been long time that this meaning has changed, or has begun to change, towards the Anglo-Saxo model taking in account the idea of an action that "determines an increase of economic, cultural, social values in an existing urban or territorial context."[5]

For instance, we can mention the regional law of 29 July 2008, nr. 21, of the Puglia Region, "Norms for urban regeneration", which states: «By this law, the Puglia Region promotes the regeneration of parts of cities and urban systems in coherence with municipal and inter-municipal strategies in order to improve urban, socio-economics, environmental and cultural conditions of human settlements "LEGGE REGIONALE 29 luglio 2008, n. 21: "Norme per la rigenerazione urbana".

A similar concept was carried out by Lombardy Region by mean of its Regional Law of 26 November 2019 - n. 18 "Simplification and incentive measures for urban and territorial regeneration, as well as for the recovery of existing building heritage. Changes and addendums to the regional law 11 March 2005, n. 12 (Law for the Government of the Territory) and other regional laws "Modern attempts at renewal began in the late 19th century in developed nations, and experienced an intense phase in the late 1940s under the rubric of reconstruction. The process has had a major impact on many urban landscapes and has played an important role in the history and demographics of cities around the world.

Urban renewal is a process where privately owned properties within a designated renewal area are purchased or taken by eminent domain by a municipal redevelopment authority, razed and then reconveyed to selected developers who devote them to other uses.

The concept of urban renewal as a method for social reform emerged in England as a reaction to the increasingly cramped and unsanitary conditions of the urban poor in the rapidly industrializing cities of the 19th century. The agenda that emerged was a progressive doctrine that assumed better housing conditions would reform its residents morally and economically. Another style of reform – imposed by the state for reasons of aesthetics and efficiency – could be said to have begun in 1853, with the recruitment of Baron Haussmann by Napoleon III for the redevelopment of Paris.

This process is also carried out in rural areas, referred to as village renewal, though it may not be exactly the same in practice.[3]

In some cases, renewal may result in urban sprawl when city infrastructure begins to include freeways and expressways.[4]

Urban renewal has been seen by proponents as an economic engine and a reform mechanism, and by critics as a mechanism for control. Though it may bring more wealth to communities, it may also edge out its preexisting residents. Some redevelopment projects have been failures, including the Kelo case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the taking by a 5 to 4 vote, but where nothing was built on the taken property.

Many cities link the revitalization of the central business district and gentrification of residential neighborhoods to earlier urban renewal programs. The goal of urban renewal evolved into a policy based less on destruction and more on renovation and investment, and today is an integral part of many local governments, often combined with small and big business incentives.

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, Puerto Madero is a known example of an urban renewal project. In the 1990s, the Argentine government decided to build a new residential and commercial district to replace city's old port and docks. More than 50 skyscrapers have been built in the last 20 years. Puerto Madero is now Buenos Aires' most expensive and exclusive neighborhood.[citation needed]

Brazil

In Rio de Janeiro, the Porto Maravilha [pt] is a large-scale urban waterfront revitalization project, which covers a centrally located five million square meter area. The project aims to redevelop the port area, increasing the city center attractiveness as a whole and enhancing the city's competitiveness in the global economy. The urban renovation involves 700 km of public networks for water supply, sanitation, drainage, electricity, gas and telecom; 5 km of tunnels; 70 km of roads; 650 km2 of sidewalks; 17 km of bike path; 15.000 trees; and 3 plants for sanitation treatment.

Italy

In Italy, the concept of urban renewal had been having the classical meaning of "recovery", "re-use", and also "redevelopment" for many years. It has not been long time that this meaning has changed, or has begun to change, towards the Anglo-Saxo model taking in account the idea of an action that "determines an increase of economic, cultural, social values in an existing urban or territorial context."[5]

For instance, we can mention the regional law of 29 July 2008, nr. 21, of the Puglia Region, "Norms for urban regeneration", which states: «By this law, the Puglia Region promotes the regeneration of parts of cities and urban systems in coherence with municipal and inter-municipal strategies in order to improve urban, socio-economics, environmental and cultural conditions of human settlements "LEGGE REGIONALE 29 luglio 2008, n. 21: "Norme per la rigenerazione urbana".

A similar concept was carried out by Lombardy Region by mean of its Regional Law of 26 November 2019 - n. 18 "Simplification and incentive measures for urban and territorial regeneration, as well as for the recovery of existing building heritage. Changes and addendums to the regional law 11 March 2005, n. 12 (Law for the Government of the Territory) and other regional laws "Legge Regione Lombardia 18/2019.

This law defines the urban regeneration as "the coordinated set of urban-building interventions and social initiatives that can include replacement, re-use, redevelopment of the built environment and reorganization of the urban landscape by mean of recovery of degraded, underused or abandoned areas, as well as through the creation and management of infrastructure, green spaces and services […] with a horizon towards sustainability and environmental and social resilience, technological innovation and increasing biodiversity" (Art 2. L.R.18/2019).

The same law introduces some rewards reserved to whom builds for social purposes. Moreover, these rewards are also reserved for those who carry on some particular implementation models. For instance, you can increase the volume of your building whenever "integrated safety systems and construction site risk management processes are applied; methods that are based on traceability and control activities, with particular reference to soil movement and waste traceability, based on advanced technologies", the increase in the building index is recognized in the art. 3 and these rewards are also given when technologies as geolocation, video surveillance and perimeter protection are implemented in order to prevent the "risk of crime

In Rio de Janeiro, the Porto Maravilha [pt] is a large-scale urban waterfront revitalization project, which covers a centrally located five million square meter area. The project aims to redevelop the port area, increasing the city center attractiveness as a whole and enhancing the city's competitiveness in the global economy. The urban renovation involves 700 km of public networks for water supply, sanitation, drainage, electricity, gas and telecom; 5 km of tunnels; 70 km of roads; 650 km2 of sidewalks; 17 km of bike path; 15.000 trees; and 3 plants for sanitation treatment.

Italy

In Italy, the concept of urban renewal had been having the classical meaning of "recovery", "re-use", and also "redevelopment" for many years. It has not been long time that this meaning has changed, or has begun to change, towards the Anglo-Saxo model taking in account the idea of an action that "determines an increase of economic, cultural, social values in an existing urban or territorial context."[5]

For instance, we can mention the regional law of 29 July 2008, nr. 21, of the Puglia Region, "Norms for urban regeneration", which states: «By this law, the Puglia Region promotes the regeneration of parts of cities and urban systems in coherence wi

For instance, we can mention the regional law of 29 July 2008, nr. 21, of the Puglia Region, "Norms for urban regeneration", which states: «By this law, the Puglia Region promotes the regeneration of parts of cities and urban systems in coherence with municipal and inter-municipal strategies in order to improve urban, socio-economics, environmental and cultural conditions of human settlements "LEGGE REGIONALE 29 luglio 2008, n. 21: "Norme per la rigenerazione urbana".

A similar concept was carried out by Lombardy Region by mean of its Regional Law of 26 November 2019 - n. 18 "Simplification and incentive measures for urban and territorial regeneration, as well as for the recovery of existing building heritage. Changes and addendums to the regional law 11 March 2005, n. 12 (Law for the Government of the Territory) and other regional laws "Legge Regione Lombardia 18/2019.

This law defines the urban regeneration as "the coordinated set of urban-building interventions and social initiatives that can include replacement, re-use, redevelopment of the built environment and reorganization of the urban landscape by mean of recovery of degraded, underused or abandoned areas, as well as through the creation and management of infrastructure, green spaces and services […] with a horizon towards sustainability and environmental and social resilience, technological innovation and increasing biodiversity" (Art 2. L.R.18/2019).

The same law introduces some rewards reserved to whom builds for social purposes. Moreover, these rewards are also reserved for those who carry on some particular implementation models. For instance, you can increase the volume of your building whenever "integrated safety systems and construction site risk management processes are applied; methods that are based on traceability and control activities, with particular reference to soil movement and waste traceability, based on advanced technologies", the increase in the building index is recognized in the art. 3 and these rewards are also given when technologies as geolocation, video surveillance and perimeter protection are implemented in order to prevent the "risk of crime during all phases of construction sites" La legalità per la rigenerazione urbana: a law analysis.

In the French colonial period, the entire city of Marrakesh - the city inside the defensive walls - was razed and redeveloped, except for the preservation of mosques, madrassas, and funerary memorials. The preserved madrassas include buildings erected as caravanserai.[6]

Singapore

The history of Singapore's urban renewal goes back to the time period surrounding the Second World War. Before the war, Singapore's housing environment had already been a problem. The tension of both infrastructure and housing conditions were worsened by the rapidly increasing number of the Singapore population in the 1930s. As a consequence of the war and the lack of economic development, between the 1940s to the 1950s, the previous evil of housing conditions continued to happen. As much as 240,000 squatters were placed in Singapore during the 1950s. It was caused by the movement of migrants, especially from peninsular Malaysia and the baby boom.[7] In mid 1959, overcrowded slums were inhabited by a big number of squatter populations, whereas these areas lacked the existence of service facilities such as sanitation.[8]

Since the establishment of the Republic of Singapore, urban renewal has been included in the part of the national improvement policy that was urgently put in action. Before that, the 1958 master plan had already been designed to solve the city problems. However, due to the lack of urban planning experts caused by the deficiency of professio

Since the establishment of the Republic of Singapore, urban renewal has been included in the part of the national improvement policy that was urgently put in action. Before that, the 1958 master plan had already been designed to solve the city problems. However, due to the lack of urban planning experts caused by the deficiency of professional staff, criticism came from many urban practitioners. The professional team recommended by the United Nations then was asked by the government to cope with the urban renewal matters and its redevelopment plan in 1961. Based on the UN assistance report, two pilot developments were initiated in the end of 1964 by the government. These redevelopments then led to the success of Singapore's urban renewal because the government could provide sufficient amount of public housing and business areas.[7]

The most recent project is Paya Lebar Quarter. This will be a centrally located international mixed-use development and a key catalyst to the URA masterplan to regenerate Paya Lebar.[9] Paya Lebar Quarter offers 3 grade A office towers with close to 1 million square feet of office space and amenities, a standalone mid-to-mid plus retail mall with over 340,000 square feet of shopping, dining and entertainment options and 3 residential towers comprising 429 apartments, positioned within a public space.[9] Paya Lebar Quarter is developed by Lendlease, an international developer with a strong track record in urban regeneration projects around the world,[9]

In the establishment of urban renewal programmes, some difficulties were experienced by the PAP government. The obstacles came from the resistance of people who used to live in the slums and squatters. It was reported by Singapore newspapers that those people were reluctant to be replaced. This became the major problems of 1960s redevelopment schemes.[10] Affordable land value also became one of its reasons. Another problem was that the government had to purchase the private land owned by the middle and upper society to make the land vacant and be used for redevelopment.[7]

In Taipei, Taiwan, Xinyi Special District is a known example of an urban renewal project. Its historical development began in 1976, when the Taipei Municipal Government accepted the proposal to redevelop the area east of the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall. The goal of this redevelopment was to set up a secondary commercial center away from the more crowded old city center (Taipei Station, Ximending area). The redevelopment hoped to increase the prosperity of the eastern district and the convenience of urban life for existing residents. The center's purpose was to expand business investment in the area and attract international financial services and technology firms. It also planned for residential development by building a completely new community. The Xinyi Project Area is the only commercial development area in Taipei with a wholly planned street and urban design. In addition to attracting corporations, it also features large retail spaces, department stores, and shopping malls. Xinyi Special District is now the prime central business district of Taipei.[11]

A project named Taichung's 7th Redevelopment Zone in Taichung, transformed disused agricultural land into a new commercial district.

Another notable project is the Taichung's 7th Redevelopment Zone, which is located in Taichung, Taiwan. Before the Taichung's 7th Redevelopment Zone Plan, only a few farmhouses were scattered along a limited number of narrow streets.[12] Today, this area is the site of Taichung's new city government center, and it is the central business district(CBD) of Taichung city.[13] It features broad and widely-spaced boulevards, attra

Another notable project is the Taichung's 7th Redevelopment Zone, which is located in Taichung, Taiwan. Before the Taichung's 7th Redevelopment Zone Plan, only a few farmhouses were scattered along a limited number of narrow streets.[12] Today, this area is the site of Taichung's new city government center, and it is the central business district(CBD) of Taichung city.[13] It features broad and widely-spaced boulevards, attractive apartments, department stores, and office towers, which are brightly lit at night. There are many universities nearby, such as Tunghai University and Feng Chia University.[14]

United Kingdom

Part of slums of London began to attract the attention of social reformers and philanthropists, who began a movement for social housing. The first area to be targeted was the notorious slum called the Devil's Acre near Westminster. This new movement was largely funded by George Peabody and the Peabody Trust and had a lasting impact on the urban character of Westminster.[15]

Slum clearance began with the Rochester Buildings, on the corner of Old Pye Street and Perkin's Rent, which were built in 1862 by the merchant William Gibbs. They are one of the earliest large-scale philanthropic housing developments in London. The Rochester Buildings were sold to the Peabody Trust in 1877 and later become known as Blocks A to D of the Old Perkin's Rents Estate. Angela Burdett-Coutts, 1st Baroness Burdett-Coutts funded an experimental social housing estate, among the first of its kind, on the corner of Columbia Road and Old Pye Street (now demolished).[15] In 1869 the Peabody Trust built one of its first housing estates at Brewer's Green, between Victoria Street and St. James's Park. What remained of the Devil's Acre on the other side of Victoria Street was cleared and further Peabody estates were built after the Slum clearance began with the Rochester Buildings, on the corner of Old Pye Street and Perkin's Rent, which were built in 1862 by the merchant William Gibbs. They are one of the earliest large-scale philanthropic housing developments in London. The Rochester Buildings were sold to the Peabody Trust in 1877 and later become known as Blocks A to D of the Old Perkin's Rents Estate. Angela Burdett-Coutts, 1st Baroness Burdett-Coutts funded an experimental social housing estate, among the first of its kind, on the corner of Columbia Road and Old Pye Street (now demolished).[15] In 1869 the Peabody Trust built one of its first housing estates at Brewer's Green, between Victoria Street and St. James's Park. What remained of the Devil's Acre on the other side of Victoria Street was cleared and further Peabody estates were built after the Cross Act of 1875.[16]

In 1882, the Peabody Trust built the Abbey Orchard Estate on former marshland at the corner of Old Pye Street and Abbey Orchard Street. Like many of the social housing estates, the Abbey Orchard Estate was built following the square plan concept. Blocks of flats were built around a courtyard, creating a semi-private space within the estate functioning as recreation area. The courtyards were meant to create a community atmosphere and the blocks of flats were designed to allow sunlight into the courtyards. The blocks of flats were built using high-quality brickwork and included architectural features such as lettering, glazing, fixtures and fittings. The estates built in the area at the time were considered model dwellings and included shared laundry and sanitary facilities, innovative at the time, and fireplaces in some bedrooms. The design was subsequently repeated in numerous other housing estates in London.[15]

State intervention was first achieved with the passage of the Public Health Act of 1875 through Parliament. The Act focused on combating filthy urban living conditions that were the cause of disease outbreaks. It required all new residential construction to include running water and an internal drainage system and also prohibited the construction of shoddy housing by building contractors.

The London County Council was created in 1889 as the municipal authority in the County of London and in 1890 the Old Nichol in the East End of London was declared a slum and the Council authorized its clearance and the rebuilding of an area of some 15-acre (6.1 ha), including the Nichol and Snow estates, and a small piece on the Shoreditch side of Boundary Street, formally Cock Lane. The slum clearance began in 1891 and included 730 houses inhabited by 5,719 people. The LCC architects designed 21 and Rowland Plumbe two of 23 blocks containing between 10 and 85 tenements each. A total of 1,069 tenements, mostly two or three-roomed, were planned to accommodate 5,524 persons. The project was hailed as setting "new aesthetic standards for housing the working classes" and included a new laundry, 188 shops, and 77 workshops. Churches and schools were preserved. Building for the project began in 1893 and it was opened by the Prince of Wales in 1900.[17] Other such schemes in the 1880s, where newly cleared sites were sold on to developers, included Whitechapel, Wild Street, Whitecross Street and Clerkenwell.[18]

Currently there are two main Urban Regeneration projects going on in London, Elephant Park[19] at Elephant and Castle[20] and at Stratford.[20] These are both being done by Lendlease, a multinational company focusing on redeveloping neglected city areas.[20]

Interwar period