The Urban Renewal

Urban renewal is also known as Urban regeneration in the United Kingdom and In the United States, it is called Urban redevelopment and Urban renewal. It is a process by which land is redeveloped where there is decay. A lot of modern attempts were made in the late 19th century in developed nations and an intense phase was experienced in late 1940 under the rubric reconstruction. The process of Urban regeneration has had a major impact on many landscapes, it has even played an important role in history and demographics of cities across the world.

It can be defined as a process where private properties within a private designated area are first purchased by municipal redevelopment authorities and later reconveyed to selected developers who devote them to certain other uses. Until 1970, displaced owners received only ‘compensation’ as specified in the amendment to the US constitution. However, this measure of compensation only covered only a fair market value of a property and skipped a lot of incidental loses such as moving expenses, losses due to favorable financing and several other business losses such as a decrease in the goodwill of the business. In the year 1970, the state government and the federal government enacted the Uniform relocation association act that provides for some compensation for these losses. The urban renewal process is also carried out in rural areas and this process is known as village renewal, however, it does not practice a similar process.

Related: What is New Urbanism? | Definition, Concept & Benefits

Reasons for the Urban renewal are as follows –

  • The increment in the population of people living in the unhealthy and hazardous conditions.
  • The increment in the number of the old buildings is causing people living in them, a risk of life due to the collapse of such buildings.
  • The increase in the gap in infrastructure between the populace and the environment.
  • Improvement in the quality of life of people staying in the urban areas.

Strategies adopted for the Urban renewal are as follows –

There are three basic steps as to the way the operations are carried out. These are Redevelopment, Rehabilitation, and Preservation. They are explained below.

  1. Redevelopment –it is a process of cleaning old and poor quality structures with new structures. It is an expensive process to achieve.
  2. Rehabilitation– in this process, already existing old structures are repaired and transferred back to their original purposes. It is comparatively inexpensive as compared to Redevelopment.
  3.  Preservation – It is aimed at preventing deterioration of the presently sound neighborhood.
  4. The process of Urban renewal– It ensures all activities are carried out through proper and acceptable standards.
  • The area to be improved so as to ensure quality like housing conditions, drainage problem etc.
  • Investigation of existing conditions and characteristics of the area to be renewed.
  • Prepare physical development plans such as community facility plan, land use plan and future improvement program of a set area.
  • Establishing a relocation program when renewal will necessitate popular displacement.
  • The last step in the process of urban renewal process is a final implementation of the renewal program and its evaluation.

Before a final implementation following points must also be considered – sanitization of the community, Identifying sources of finance, land acquisition, Displacement and relocation, Site preparation and the site improvement, and lastly the land allocation.


 Importance of Urban renewal

Many communities go to extreme lengths to revitalize their cities such as destroying abandoned homes and developing high-speed rails along the center of the neighborhood, however one thing clear that future redevelopment within a city is possible only through urban renewal. In addition, it is clear that urban renewal is an important part of any city’s urban planning.

Below are five factors showing why Urban planning is important for a City’s growth

  1. Preservation of Country’s History–A city can capitalize its rich history by removing blighted structures and remodeling dilapidated buildings and homes in the neighborhood. This step has helped many cities bring back its tourism dollars back into the economy as tourists love visiting historic places.
  2. Clearance of Slums–This is one of the benefits, urban renewal helps in eliminating Slums and creates new interest throughout the neighborhood. With cities being renewed, it has been noted that slum areas have visibly reduced thus making the place look rich.
  3. Reduction in Crime–it has been noted that there is a reduction in crimes in the cities and areas being renewed. It has successfully helped in eliminating crime gathering spots to a minimum.
  4. Improved Housing stock–with the development of projects like Rocket landing, a neighborhood contemporary development has helped create partnerships amidst the neighboring localities, it also involves some kind of creative architecture.
  5. The Economic growth– Economic vibrancy can also be noticed with time with the construction of new renewable projects such as launching new hotels, improvement in already existing buildings.

Disadvantages of the urban renewal –

While the urban renewal has many advantages, the Urban renewal also has a few disadvantages such as – 

  • Seizing of property-Someone’s property might be seized in an improper manner causing him or her problems.
  • No proper planning-Sometimes the plans are not properly made causing more harm than benefit.
  • Expensive – It may turn out to be very expensive and pay off not that worth it.

Like any other thing, even this has both pros and cons; therefore, an effective and thoughtful planning is required so that the ending results turn out to be most beneficial.

A final conclusion about how the urban renewal should be achieved – With numerous ways and methods of practice are available in the market to make changes, it is important to pick one that is the most effective; a careful planning is a must so that no harm is caused to anyone while carrying out the planned projects. The aim is to simply achieve more that too at the cost of spending a fewer resources.

Also Read: Rural urban fringe: Concept, History, Reasons, Issues