What is urban regeneration?

Urban regeneration is a very wide ranging term that can apply to a broad spectrum of situations. It essentially covers the reconstruction of built up areas, especially where there is evidence of urban decay. Urban regeneration began in the late 19th century and went through a phase of considerable acceleration in the 1940s. It’s something that every country tackles continuously – and the UK is no exception.

Exploring the definition

Land regeneration in cities is the fundamental driving force behind urban regeneration. Programmes focusing on this type of reconstruction usually involve taking an area into the ownership of a redevelopment authority, which then selects developers to reconstitute the land for other purposes. While this describes the basic mechanics of urban regeneration, the ideas behind it, as well as the motivation and the detail, can be very different from one location to another.

Regeneration is about bespoke solutions for local communities

Critically, the purpose of regeneration is to deliver a long-lasting solution in the form of sustainable new communities. This often means looking at the needs and challenges of a location and its economy, and consulting with all stakeholders involved to establish current and potential issues. The end result should be a project that delivers on an economic level but is also tailored to serving the local community.

It’s about problem solving

It’s crucial for any regeneration scheme to look at the issues that may have been responsible for decay in an area to begin with. According to the British Urban Regeneration Association, regeneration should lead “to the resolution of urban problems and…bring about a lasting improvement in the economic, physical, social and environmental condition of an area.”

There’s no single template for successful urban regeneration

Urban regeneration doesn’t come in a single format or a one-size-fits-all approach. It needs to be delivered taking into account local and market needs, commercial and financial viability and opportunities and pitfalls that are specific to the area in question.

Urban regeneration involves partnerships

Projects can be vast and complex and cannot be delivered by any one single entity. Successful completion of urban regeneration requires partnerships built on trust and patience, the ability to engage with local issues and to be flexible in terms of solutions.

It can contribute to solving the housing crisis

Urban regeneration involves the redevelopment of sites that are currently uninhabitable, creating areas where residential dwellings can be built. The impact of regeneration is often to make these areas desirable places to live and to provide homes that ease the pressure on limited UK property supply.

Making good use of wasted resources

Many urban areas in the UK have under used and wasted land assets and there are also significant numbers of social exclusion zones. When regeneration comes to these parts of the country it can revitalise, attract investment to the area and create a vastly improved living environment.

Urban regeneration is an ongoing process in the UK and there are currently many exciting projects under way. We plan and deliver construction projects in a sustainable, innovative and cost effective way to the highest possible standards – contact us to find out more today.

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