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Urban decay (also known as urban rot , urban death and urban blight) is the sociological process by which a previously functioning
city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can be defined as a pe ...
, or part of a city, falls into disrepair and decrepitude. It may feature
deindustrialization The former decline_of_the_city's_once_vibrant_Automotive_industry_in_the_United_States.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Detroit">Packard Automotive Plant in decline_of_the_city's_once_vibrant_Automotive_industry_i ...
,
depopulation A population decline (sometimes underpopulation or depopulation) in humans is a reduction in a human population size caused by short term events such as pandemics, wars, famines or other catastrophes, or by long-term demographic trends, as in sub- ...
or
deurbanization Counterurbanization, or deurbanization, is a demographic and social process whereby people move from urban areas to rural areas. It is, like suburbanization, inversely related to urbanization. It first occurred as a reaction to inner-city deprivati ...
,
economic restructuring Economic restructuring is used to indicate changes in the constituent parts of an economy in a very general sense. In the western world, it is usually used to refer to the phenomenon of urban areas shifting from a manufacturing to a service sector e ...
, abandoned buildings and infrastructure, high local unemployment, increased poverty, fragmented families, low overall
living standards Standard of living is the level of income, comforts and services available, generally applied to a society or location, rather than to an individual. Standard of living is relevant because it is considered to contribute to an individual's quality ...
and
quality of life Quality of life (QOL), according to Britannica, is the degree to which an individual is healthy, comfortable, and able to participate in or enjoy life events. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines QOL as "an individual's perception of their ...
, political
disenfranchisementDisfranchisement, also called disenfranchisement, or voter disqualification is the revocation of suffrage (the right to vote) of a person or group of people, or a practice that has the effect of preventing a person exercising the right to vote. Disfr ...
, crime, elevated levels of pollution, and a desolate cityscape, known as greyfield or
urban prairie Urban prairie is a term to describe vacant urban land that has reverted to green space. Previous structures occupying the urban lots have been demolished, leaving patchy areas of green space that are usually untended and unmanaged, forming an invol ...
. Since the 1970s and 1980s, urban decay has been associated with Western cities, especially in North America and parts of Europe (mostly the United Kingdom and France). Since then, major structural changes in
global economies The world economy or the global economy is the economy of all humans of the world, referring to the global economic system which includes all economic activities which are conducted both within and between nations, including production, consumption ...
, transportation, and
government policy Public policy is a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government, in response to public, real-world problems. Beyond this broad definition, public policy has been conceptualized in a variety of ways. A popular way of understa ...
created the economic and then the social conditions resulting in urban decay. The effects counter the development of most of Europe and North America; on other continents, urban decay is manifested in the peripheral
slum A slum is usually a highly populated urban residential area consisting mostly of closely packed, decrepit housing units in a situation of deteriorated or incomplete infrastructure, inhabited primarily by impoverished persons.< ...
s at the outskirts of a metropolis, while the city center and the
inner city The term ''inner city'' has been used, especially in the United States, as a euphemism for lower-income residential districts that often refer to African-American neighborhoods, in a downtown or city centre area. Sociologists sometimes turn the ...
retain high real estate values and sustain a steadily increasing populace. In contrast, North American and British cities often experience population flights to the
suburbs The Swedish suburbs of Husby/Kista/Akalla are built according to the typical city planning of the Million Programme. A suburb (or suburban area or suburbia) is a mixed-use or residential area, existing either as part of a city or urban area or ...
and
exurb Exurban development (left side) blends into suburban development (right side) in Loudoun County, Virginia, in the western part of the Baltimore–Washington_metropolitan_area">Loudoun_County,_Virginia,_in_the_western_part_of_the_Baltimore–Washi ...
commuter town can be considered commuter towns. Here, riders wait in Maplewood for a train bound for New York City during the morning rush hour., alt=Mostly men wait at a train station with an empty track to their left and a train and leafless deciduous trees be ...
s; often in the form of
white flight White flight or white exodus is the sudden or gradual large-scale migration of white people from areas becoming more racially or ethnoculturally diverse. Starting in the 1950s and 1960s, the terms became popular in the United States. They referr ...
. Another characteristic of urban decay is blight—the visual, psychological, and physical effects of living among empty lots, buildings and condemned houses. Urban decay has no single cause; it results from combinations of inter-related socio-economic conditions—including the city's
urban planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, a ...
decisions, tight rent control, the poverty of the local populace, the construction of
freeway network. A controlled-access highway is a type of highway that has been designed for high-speed vehicular traffic, with all traffic flow—ingress and egress—regulated. Common English terms are freeway (in parts of Australia, parts of Canada ...
roads and rail road lines that bypass—or run through—the area,
The construction of the
Gowanus Parkway Interstate 278 (I-278) is an auxiliary Interstate Highway in New Jersey and New York in the United States. The road runs from U.S. Route 1/9 (US 1/9) in Linden, New Jersey, to the Bruckner Interchange in the New York City boroug ...
, laying a concrete slab on top of lively, bustling Third Avenue, buried the avenue in shadow, and when the parkway was completed, the avenue was cast forever into darkness and gloom, and its bustle and life were forever gone.
depopulation by suburbanization of peripheral lands, real estate neighborhood
redlining Redlining is the systematic denial of various services or goods by governments or the private sector either directly or through the selective raising of prices. The word itself is rooted back to the early 1930's after the color correlating prope ...
, and immigration restrictions.Comeback Cities: A Blueprint for Urban Neighborhood Revival
By Paul S. Grogan, Tony Proscio. . Published 2002. pp. 139–145.
"The 1965 law brought an end to the lengthy and destructive—at least for cities—period of tightly restricted immigration a spell born of the
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation (as in a group of people),Smith, Anthony. ''Nationalism: Theory, Ideology, History''. Polity, 2010. pp. 9, 25–30; especially with the aim of gaining and ...
and
xenophobia Xenophobia (from grc, ξένος, xénos, meaning "stranger" or "foreigner", and ''phóbos'', meaning "fear") is the fear or hatred of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange. It is an expression of perceived conflict between an ingroup and ...
of the 1920s", p. 140


History

During the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Europe and the United States, in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machin ...
, from the late eighteenth century to the early nineteenth century, rural people moved from the country to the cities for employment in manufacturing industry, thus causing the urban population boom. However, subsequent economic change left many cities economically vulnerable. Studies such as the Urban Task Force (DETR 1999), the Urban White Paper (DETR 2000), and a study of Scottish cities (2003) posit that areas suffering industrial decline—high unemployment, poverty, and a decaying physical environment (sometimes including contaminated land and obsolete infrastructure)—prove "highly resistant to improvement". Changes in means of transport, from the public to the private—specifically, the private motor car—eliminated some of the cities' public transport service advantages, e.g., fixed-route buses and trains. In particular, at the end of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—forming two opposing milit ...
, many political decisions favored suburban development and encouraged suburbanization, by drawing city taxes from the cities to build new infrastructure for towns. The manufacturing sector has been a base for the prosperity of major cities. When the industries have relocated outside of cities, some have experienced population loss with associated urban decay, and even
riots Rioters wearing scarves to conceal their identity and filter tear gas A riot () is a form of civil disorder commonly characterized by a group lashing out in a violent public disturbance against authority, property, or people. Riots typically inv ...
. Cut backs on police and fire services may result, while lobbying for government funded housing may increase. Increased city taxes encourage residents to move out.


Rent control

Rent control Rent regulation is a system of laws, administered by a court or a public authority, which aims to ensure the affordability of housing and tenancies on the rental market for dwellings. Generally, a system of rent regulation involves: *Price con ...
s are often enacted due to public pressure and complaints regarding the
cost of living __NOTOC__ "Cost Of Living" is the 120th episode of the American science fiction television show ''Star Trek: The Next Generation''. The 20th episode of the fifth season. Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet c ...
. Proponents of rent controls argue that rent controls combat inflation, stabilize the economic characteristics of a city's population, prevent rent gouging, and improve the quality of housing. Economists have documented that rent control affects the supply and demand relationship in housing markets which can contribute to urban blight and does not provide the benefits its proponents advocate. Rent control contributes to urban blight by reducing new construction and investment in housing and deincentivizing maintenance. If a landlord's costs to perform maintenance consume too large a proportion of profit, that is revenue minus costs, from rent, the landlord will feel pressure to drastically reduce or eliminate maintenance entirely. This effect has been observed in New York City, a 2009 study by a lobbying firm found 29% of rent-controlled buildings were categorized as either deteriorated or dilapidated in contrast with 8% of non-rent-controlled housing.


Countries


United States

Packard_Automotive_Plant,_closed_since_1958._Detroit_has_gone_through_a_major_economic_and_demographic_Decline_of_Detroit.html" "title="Detroit.html" ;"title="Packard Automotive Plant, closed since 1958. Detroit">Packard Automotive Plant, closed since 1958. Detroit has gone through a major economic and demographic Decline of Detroit">decline Decline may refer to: *Decadence, involves a perceived decay in standards, morals, dignity, religious faith, or skill over time *"Decline" (song), 2017 song by Raye and Mr Eazi *''The Decline'' (EP), an EP by NOFX *The Decline (band), Australian sk ...
in recent decades. Historically in the United States, the white
middle class The middle class is a class of people in the middle of a social hierarchy. Its usage has often been vague whether defined in terms of occupation, income, education or social status. The definition by any author is often chosen for political connot ...
gradually left the cities for suburban areas due to African-American migration north toward cities after
World War I World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously known as the Great War or "the war to end all wars", i ...
. American cities often declare blighted status once determined that urban renewal strategies are the most appropriate means to encourage the private investment for reversing deteriorating downtown conditions. Some historians differentiate between the first Great Migration (1910–1930), numbering about 1.6 million Black migrants who left mostly Southern rural areas to migrate to northern and midwestern industrial cities, and, after a lull during the
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across the world; in most countries, it started in 1929 and las ...
, a Second Great Migration (1940–1970), in which 5 million or more African-Americans moved, including many to California and various western cities.William H. Frey, "The New Great Migration: Black Americans' Return to the South, 1965–2000", The Brookings Institution, May 2004, pp. 1–3
. Retrieved 19 March 2008.
Between 1910 and 1970, Blacks moved from 14 states of the South, especially
Alabama (We dare defend our rights) , anthem = "Alabama" , image_map = Alabama in United States.svg , seat = Montgomery , LargestCity = Birmingham , LargestCounty = Baldwin County ...
,
Louisiana Louisiana (, ); Standard French: ' ; es, Luisiana is a state in the Deep South and South Central regions of the United States. It is the 19th-smallest by area and the 25th most populous of the 50 U.S. states. Louisiana is bordered by the s ...

Louisiana
,
Mississippi Mississippi () is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; and to the northwest by Arkansas. Mississi ...
and
Texas Texas (, ) is a state in the South Central region of the United States. It is the second largest U.S. state by both area (after Alaska) and population (after California). Texas shares borders with the states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansa ...

Texas
to the other three cultural (and census-designated) regions of the United States. More townspeople with urban skills moved during the second migration. By the end of the Second Great Migration, African Americans had become an urbanized population. More than 80 percent lived in cities. A majority of 53 percent remained in the South, while 40 percent lived in the North and 7 percent in the West.AAME From the 1930s until 1977, African-Americans seeking borrowed capital for housing and businesses were discriminated against via the federal-government–legislated discriminatory lending practices for the
Federal Housing Administration The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a United States government agency founded by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, created in part by the National Housing Act of 1934. The FHA insures mortgages made by private lenders for single family ...
(FHA) via
redlining Redlining is the systematic denial of various services or goods by governments or the private sector either directly or through the selective raising of prices. The word itself is rooted back to the early 1930's after the color correlating prope ...
. In 1977, the US Congress passed the
Community Reinvestment Act The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA, P.L. 95-128, 91 Stat. 1147, title VIII of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1977, ''et seq.'') is a United States federal law designed to encourage commercial banks and savings associations to help ...
, designed to encourage commercial banks and savings associations to help meet the needs of borrowers in all segments of their communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Later urban centers were drained further through the advent of mass car ownership, the marketing of suburbia as a location to move to, and the building of the
Interstate Highway System The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly known as the Interstate Highway System, is a network of controlled-access highways that forms part of the National Highway System in the United States. Cons ...
. In North America this shift manifested itself in
strip malls A strip mall is a type of shopping center common in North America where the stores are arranged in a row, with a sidewalk in front. Strip malls are typically developed as a unit and have large parking lots in front. Many of them face major traffi ...
, suburban retail and employment centers, and very low-density housing estates. Large areas of many northern cities in the United States experienced population decreases and a degradation of urban areas. Inner-city property values declined and economically disadvantaged populations moved in. In the U.S., the new inner-city poor were often African-Americans that migrated from the South in the 1920s and 1930s. As they moved into traditional white neighborhoods, ethnic frictions served to accelerate flight to the suburbs.


United Kingdom

Like many industrial nations before the Second World War, the United Kingdom carried out extensive slum clearances. These efforts continued after the war, however in many of these slums, depopulation became common, producing compounding decay. The UK is unlike much of Europe in having high overall population density, but low urban population density outside of London. In London, many former slum neighbourhoods like in Islington became "highly prized" however this was the exception to the rule, and much of the north of England remains deprived. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation in the 1980s and 90s undertook extensive studies culminating with a 1991 report which analysed the 20 most difficult council estates. Many of the most unpopular estates were in
East London East London is a popularly and informally defined part of London, capital of the United Kingdom. By most definitions, it is east of the ancient City of London and north of the River Thames. It broadly comprises the London boroughs of Barking a ...
,
Newcastle upon Tyne Newcastle upon Tyne (, ), often simply Newcastle, is the most populous city and metropolitan borough in North East England. It forms the Tyneside conurbation's core, eighth most populous United Kingdom urban area. The city is situated on the Rive ...
,
Greater Manchester Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county and combined authority area in North West England, with a population of 2.8 million; the third largest in England after Greater London and the West Midlands. It encompasses one of the largest metropoli ...
,
Glasgow Glasgow, (, also , ; sco, Glesca or ; gd, Glaschu ) with an estimated city population of 633,120 in 2019, is the most populous city in Scotland and the fourth-most populous city in the United Kingdom (as of 2011), as well as being the 27th lar ...

Glasgow
, the
South Wales valleys , near the head of the Rhondda Fawr, showing typical scenery The South Wales Valleys ( cy, Cymoedd De Cymru) are a group of industrialised peri-urbanisation, peri-urban valleys in South Wales. Most of the valleys run northsouth, roughly parallel ...
, and Liverpool, their unpopularity driven by a variety of causes from the loss of key industries,
population decline A population decline (sometimes underpopulation or depopulation) in humans is a reduction in a human population size caused by short term events such as pandemics, wars, famines or other catastrophes, or by long-term demographic trends, as in sub- ...
, and
counterurbanization Counterurbanization, or deurbanization, is a demographic and social process whereby people move from urban areas to rural areas. It is, like suburbanization, inversely related to urbanization. It first occurred as a reaction to inner-city deprivati ...
. Population decline in particular was noted to be faster in inner city areas than in outer ones, however a decline was noted throughout the 1970s, 80s, and 90s in both inner and outer city areas. Jobs declined between 1984 and 1991 (a decline observed particularly among men), while outer areas saw job growth (particularly among women). The UK also saw urban areas become more ethnically diverse, however urban decline was not limited to areas which saw population changes. Manchester in 1991 had a non white population 7.5% higher than the national average, but Newcastle had a 1% smaller non white population. Features of British urban decay analysed by the Foundation included empty houses; widespread demolitions; declining property values; and low demand for all property types, neighbourhoods, and tenures. Urban decay has been found by the Foundation to be "more extreme and therefore more visible" in the north of the United Kingdom. They note this trend of northern decline has been observed not just in the United Kingdom but also in much of Europe. Some
seaside resort A seaside resort is a resort town or resort village, or resort hotel, located on the coast. Sometimes it is also an officially accredited title, that is only awarded to a town when the requirements are met (like the title ''Seebad'' in Germany). Whe ...
towns have also experienced urban decay towards the end of the 20th century. The UK's period of urban decay was exemplified by
The Specials The Specials, also known as The Special AKA, are an English 2 Tone and ska revival band formed in 1977 in Coventry. After some early changes, the first stable lineup of the group consisted of Terry Hall and Neville Staple on vocals, Lynval Gold ...

The Specials
' 1981 hit single "
Ghost Town A ghost town or alternatively deserted city or abandoned city is an abandoned village, town, or city, usually one that contains substantial visible remaining buildings and infrastructure such as roads. A town often becomes a ghost town because ...
".


France

Large French cities are often surrounded by areas of urban decay. While city centers tend to be occupied mainly by
upper-class Upper class in modern societies is the social class composed of people who hold the highest social status, usually are the wealthiest members of class society, and wield the greatest political power. According to this view, the upper class is gener ...
residents, cities are often surrounded by public housing developments, with many tenants being of North African origin (from
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a territory claimed and occupied mostly by Moro ...
,
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , religion = , official_languages = , languages_type = Other languag ...
and
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa , image_map2 = , capital = Tunis , largest_city = capital , coordinates = , official_languages = Arabic Translation by the Uni ...

Tunisia
), and recent
immigrants Immigration is the international movement of people to a destination country of which they are not natives or where they do not possess citizenship in order to settle as permanent residents or naturalized citizens. Commuters, tourists, and ot ...
. From the 1950s to the 1970s, publicly funded housing projects resulted in large areas of mid to high-rise buildings. These modern "grands ensembles" were welcomed at the time, as they replaced shanty towns and raised living standards, but these areas were heavily affected by economic depression in the 1980s. The banlieues of large cities like
Lyon Lyon or Lyons (, , ; frp, Liyon, ; it, Lione, ) is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located at the confluence of the rivers Rhône and Saône, about south-east of Paris, north of Marseille and northeast of ...

Lyon
, especially the northern Parisian banlieues, are severely criticized and forgotten by the country's territorial spatial planning administration. They have been ostracised ever since the French
Commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property, possessions, and resources in common. In some communes, the people also share common work, income, or assets. In addition ...
government of 1871, considered as "lawless" or "outside the law", even "outside the Republic", as opposed to "deep France" or "authentic France", which is associated with the countryside. In November 2005, the French suburbs sparked by the accidental electrocution of two teenagers in the northern suburbs of Paris, and fueled in part by the substandard living conditions in these areas. Many deprived suburbs of French cities were suddenly the scenes of clashes between youngsters and the police, with violence and numerous car burnings resulting in huge media coverage. Today the situation remains generally unchanged; however, there is a level of disparity. Some areas are experiencing increased drug trafficking, while some northern suburbs of Paris and areas like
Vaulx-en-Velin Vaulx-en-Velin is a commune in the Metropolis of Lyon in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in eastern France. It is the third-largest suburb of the city of Lyon, and is located to its northeast, on the river Rhône. Population Transport * Metro lin ...
are undergoing refurbishment and re-development. Some previously mono-industrial towns in France are experiencing increasing crime, decay, and decreasing population. The issue remains a divisive issue in French public politics.


Italy

In Italy, one of the most well known case of urban decay is represented by the ''Vele di Scampia'', a large public housing estate built between 1962 and 1975 in the
Scampia Scampia (, ) is a modern suburb in the far north of Naples, whose population is about 80,000. To its south are the suburbs of Piscinola-Marianella, Miano and Secondigliano. It was built during the second half of the twentieth century. History Sca ...
neighbourhood of
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ; grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis), from grc, Νεάπολις, lit=new city. is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest city of Italy, after Rome and Milan, with a population of 967,069 within ...
. The idea behind the project was to provide a huge urban housing project, where hundreds of families could socialise and create a community. The design included a public transportation rail station, and a large park area between the two buildings. The planners wanted to create a small city model with large parks, playing fields, and other facilities. However, various events led to tremendous urban decay inside this project and in the surrounding areas. It all started with the 1980 earthquake in
IrpiniaIrpinia (Latin ''Hirpinia'') is a district of the Apennine Mountains around Avellino, a town in Campania, South Italy, about 50 km east of Naples. It was the territory of the ancient Hirpini tribe; its extent matches approximately today's provin ...
, which led many families, left homeless, to squat the flats inside the ''Vele''. Things were made worse by the total lack of police presence, resulting in a deep bundling of the
Camorra The Camorra (; ) is an Italian Mafia-typeMafia and Mafia-type orga ...
inside the area, which now controls drug trafficking, illegal
street racing Street racing is typically an unsanctioned and illegal form of auto racing that occurs on a public road. Racing in the streets is an ancient hazard, as horse racing occurred on streets for centuries, and street racing in automobiles is likely as ol ...
, gangs, and fencing operations.


South Africa

In South Africa, the most prominent urban decay case is
Hillbrow 300px, Hillbrow Tower (right) with Ponte Apartment building and the skyline of Hillbrow. Hillbrow () is an inner city residential neighbourhood of Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, South Africa. It is known for its high levels of population density, u ...
, an inner city neighborhood of
Johannesburg Johannesburg ( , also ; ; Zulu and xh, eGoli), informally known as Jozi, Joburg, or "The City of Gold", is the largest city in South Africa, classified as a megacity, and is one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world. It is the provinci ...

Johannesburg
. A formerly affluent neighborhood, at the end of
apartheid Apartheid (South African English: ; , segregation; lit. "aparthood") was a system of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South West Africa (now Namibia) from 1948 until the early 1990s. Apartheid wa ...
in 1994 many middle-class white residents moved out, and were replaced by mainly low-income workers and unemployed people, including many refugees and illegal immigrants from neighboring countries. Many businesses that operated in the area followed their customers to the suburbs, and some apartment buildings were "hi-jacked" by gangs who collected rentals from residents but failed to pay the utility bills, leading to termination of municipal services and a refusal by the legal owners to invest in maintenance or cleaning. Occupied today by low-income residents and immigrants, and heavily over-crowded, the proliferation of crime, drugs, illegal businesses and decay of properties became prevalent.


Germany

Many east German towns such as
Hoyerswerda Hoyerswerda (; hsb, Wojerecy, ) is a major district town in the district of Bautzen in the German state of Saxony. It is located in the Sorbian settlement area of Upper Lusatia, a region where some people speak the Sorbian language in addition to Ge ...
face or are facing significant population loss and urban shrinkage since the reunification of Germany. Hoyerswerda's population has dropped about 40% since its peak and there is a significant lack of teenagers and twenty-somethings due to the declining birthrates during the uncertainty of reunification. Part of the blight in east Germany is due to the construction and preservation practices of the socialist government under the
German Democratic Republic German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language * Germanic peoples * Ger ...
(GDR). To fill the housing needs, the GDR quickly built many prefabricated apartment buildings. In addition, historic preservation of pre-war buildings varied; in some cases, the rubble of buildings destroyed by the war were simply left there while in other cases the debris was removed and an empty lot remained. Other standing historical structures were left to decay in the early GDR as they did not represent the socialist ideals of the country.


Policy responses to urban decay

The main responses to urban decay have been through positive public intervention and policy, through a plethora of initiatives, funding streams, and agencies, using the principles of
New Urbanism New Urbanism is an urban design movement which promotes environmentally friendly habits by creating walkable neighborhoods containing a wide range of housing and job types. It arose in the United States in the early 1980s, and has gradually influ ...
(or through
Urban RenaissanceImage:Brindleyplace Birmingham.jpg, Waterside regeneration in Birmingham, England. The urban renaissance of the United Kingdom is the recent period of repopulation and regeneration of many British cities, including Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Gla ...
, its UK/European equivalent).
Gentrification Gentrification is a process of changing the character of a neighborhood through the influx of more affluent residents and businesses. It is a common and controversial topic in politics and in urban planning. Gentrification often increases the e ...
has also had a significant effect, and remains the primary means of a natural remedy.


United States

In the United States, early government policies included "
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" and building of large-scale
housing projects#REDIRECT Public housing {{R from other capitalisation ...
for the poor.
Urban renewal upright=1.35, 1999 photograph looking northeast on Cabrini–Green housingproject,_one_of_many_urban_renewal_efforts.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Public housing">housingproject, one of many urban renewal efforts">P ...
demolished entire neighborhoods in many inner cities; in many ways, it was a cause of urban decay rather than a remedy. These government efforts are now thought by many to have been misguided. For multiple reasons including increased demand for urban amenities, some cities have rebounded from these policy mistakes. Meanwhile, some of the inner suburbs built in the 1950s and 60s are beginning the process of decay, as those who are living in the inner city are pushed out due to
gentrification Gentrification is a process of changing the character of a neighborhood through the influx of more affluent residents and businesses. It is a common and controversial topic in politics and in urban planning. Gentrification often increases the e ...
.


Europe

In Western Europe, where undeveloped land is scarce and urban areas are generally recognised as the drivers of the new
information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both its essence and the nature of its characteristics. The concept of ''information'' has different meanings in d ...
and service economy, service economies,
urban renewal upright=1.35, 1999 photograph looking northeast on Cabrini–Green housingproject,_one_of_many_urban_renewal_efforts.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Public housing">housingproject, one of many urban renewal efforts">P ...
has become an industry in itself, with hundreds of agencies and charities set up to tackle the issue. European cities have the benefit of historical organic development patterns already concurrent to the New Urbanist model, and although derelict, most cities have attractive historical quarters and buildings ripe for redevelopment. In the inner-city estates and suburban cités, the solution is often more drastic, with 1960s and 70s state housing projects being totally demolished and rebuilt in a more traditional European urban style, with a mix of housing types, sizes, prices, and tenures, as well as a mix of other uses such as retail or commercial. One of the best examples of this is in Hulme, Manchester, which was cleared of 19th-century housing in the 1950s to make way for a large estate of high-rise flats. During the 1990s, it was cleared again to make way for new development built along new urbanist lines.


See also

General: * Black flight * Brownfield * Dead mall * Deindustrialization * Counterurbanization, Deurbanization *
Gentrification Gentrification is a process of changing the character of a neighborhood through the influx of more affluent residents and businesses. It is a common and controversial topic in politics and in urban planning. Gentrification often increases the e ...
, the reverse process *Fenceline community * Food desert * Ghetto tax * Ghost town * Greyfield land, Greyfield * Land recycling * Modern ruins * Municipal disinvestment * Redlining * Rural flight, the country counterpart * Shrinking cities * Slum clearance * Spatial mismatch, mismatch between job location and residence * Retail apocalypse * Ruins photography, Ruin porn * Urban prairie * Urbicide * White flight Specific: * Urban economics * Urban planning * Urban theory


References

Notes


External links


Towards a Strong Urban Renaissance'
Follow up report to UK Government's 'Urban task Force' report
US-based 'Urban Renaissance Institute'
{{DEFAULTSORT:Urban Decay Urban decay, Demographic economic problems sv:Förslumning