Urban Revitalization, Reimagined

2018-08-31 00:00:00

Some cities embrace urban revitalization because there is less non-built-up area as they get more urbanized; some others turn to it because they are trying to set thing right and remove the "blight" usually caused by poor planning. Whatever the cause, more cities are resorting to redevelopment rather than new development. However, urban revitalization is not merely about improving the physical environment, but also about reviving the place - creating a lively space for people and businesses already in the area as well as those moving in.


Sydney, Australia

Green Square: From A Rich Industrial Past To A Vibrant, Sustainable And Connected Community

Green Square will be Australia’s largest urban renewal project to date, to be supported by participating public and non-public stakeholders and aims to be the most livable, resilient, lively, walkable, accessible, sustainable and unique area of the city for the benefit of its estimated 61,000 residents. It will host a socially and economically thriving town-centre, markets, festivals and world-class sporting and community facilities... (read the full story)

Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium

Canal Plan: An Innovative Planning Approach for the Brussels-Capital Region

Brussels is developing its former industrial districts not only into offices or middle/upper-class-targeted houses, but also into public green spaces and affordable houses, fostering functional diversity. A dedicated team comprised transversally of various institutions will provide guidance to each project developer to ensure the project meets the principles set out... (read the full story)

Isfahan, Iran

Specialized Hospital of Sick Buildings

This Iranian city takes an interesting perspective into the renewal of "sick" buildings - buildings that are unsafe or energy-inefficient. Trained "doctors", usually graduates in urban studies who have uncertain career prospects, will visit the buildings and give diagnosis. The municipality will provide financial aid to "cure" the buildings, which will receive a health certificate when recovered along with better conditions… (read the full story)

Busan, Republic of Korea

Gamcheon Culture Village’s City Rejuvenation Project

Once the most "deficient" village in the city, Gamcheon village has successfully transformed itself through culture and arts. From the 1980s to 2010, the village population was on the decrease due to unplanned sprawl and inadequate infrastructure, leaving behind a mostly vulnerable and marginalized group. Through an integrated approach focusing on culture, the village has turned into a tourist hotspot with improved environment and job prospects... (read the full story)

Seoul, Republic of Korea

Seoul’s People-Centric Urban Regeneration Project as a Model of Sustainable Urban Growth

In order to combat the negative impact of the rapid economic growth over the last 50 years, Seoul City has shifted its focus onto urban regeneration, in particular restoring local identities and sustainable urban development through partnerships and bottom-up approaches. To this end, the city has established a Urban Regeneration Support Centre to foster public-private partnership, involve the public as well as monitoring and following up on regeneration projects… (read the full story)


Paris, France

The Rise of the "Meanwhile Space": How Empty Properties Are Finding Second Lives

Hospitals are rarely places of cheer and creativity, but the former Saint-Vincent-de-Paul hospital in Paris's 14th district is one of the most exciting places on the left bank. Former ambulance bays and car parks now house allotments, a boules court, a makeshift football pitch and an urban campsite, and up to 1,000 visitors a day come to browse its market, eat at its cafes or catch a free live performance... (read the full story)

London, United Kingdom

How the Mayor of London Is Using Crowdfunding Platform to Find and Support Great New Civic Ideas

Crowdfunding projects can be a powerful way to increase the impact of government spending by combining their funds with cash as well as the skills and experience of individuals and businesses who are also passionate about making a specific project happen, whether transforming a disused coal line into a public park, a pop-up market in Tulse Hill or bringing an arts hub to life in Walthamstow. With its Crowdfund London initiative, London gives its citizens an opportunity to pitch new ideas for comunity-led regeneration projects and will pledge to the best ideas... (read the full story)

New Rochelle, United States

Can This Westchester Community Revitalize without Displacement?

The City of New Rochelle has taken innovative steps to revitalize itself with the goal of not leaving anyone behind. While eager to see progress in the city, some local advocates are concerned about the plans' unforeseen effects of gentrification. But New Rochelle has been recognized as a model for pioneering new planning and engagement methods. Time will tell if they are successful in combating the all-too-well-known effects that new development can have on communities... (read the full story)


Urban greening is good for the environment. Let's make sure it's good for local residents, too.

In too many cases, supposedly sustainable urban economic development projects have led to gentrification. Instead of improving the neighborhood for the people already living in the area, the project improved the neighborhood for people moving into the area... (read the full story)