The phrase urban regeneration is familiar to many of us. But it is one thing to read the term and another to realise what it stands for. In truth, there are lots of urban regenerationprojects going on at the moment not just in this country, but in countries abroad as well. They all have one thing in common – to make areas of land better places to live and work for the people who reside there.
The process is also often referred to as urban renewal. Both essentially mean the same thing – the act of renewing an area of urban landscape so it is improved for the use of the people who live, work and visit the area.
Many areas of land were developed at some point in the past with big ideas and a positive outlook. But these ideas do not always reach fruition. For example some areas of the UK were developed with huge tower blocks that were designed for modern living. However some have fallen into disrepute, attracting a high incidence of crime, joblessness and squalor. It is precisely this kind of area that is targeted for urban regeneration, in order to transform it from something unattractive to something much nicer.
So what is the main aim of urban regeneration? Many will say the aim is to improve the area that is being targeted. But it would perhaps be better to say that the aim is to improve the lives of those who are involved with it. No one wants to live in a run-down depressing area where there are no jobs and poor housing to survive in. If such an area is transformed into something better it will have a marked effect on the lives of those who live there.
So in essence then, urban regenerationmeans more than just getting rid of the physical buildings in a location and replacing them with something new. It is vital to focus on all aspects of an urban landscape and the people within it. It is only by doing this that you will be able to transform such an area for the better.
Of course, the process of Urban regeneration is not a short one. It may take many years for an area to be completely transformed. It may also take a long time to figure out whether any such project is a resounding success. Sometimes it may be clearer sooner than others, depending on the area and the state it was in to begin with. But there is no doubt that regenerating an area for the good of its community is a brave and often necessary move to make.