What Is Urban Renewal?

As the population increases and many individuals wish to live in a major city, the answer to this dilemma has frequently been urban renewal. But just what is urban renewal and how does it impact the landscape of cities all over the world? What are the upsides as well as the downsides of urban renewal? In this piece, we’re going to explore what constitutes urban renewal and how it may potentially impact the life of the average city-goer.

Urban Revitalization for Economic Growth

Urban renewal, also known as urban redevelopment or urban regeneration, is the restoration of the more dilapidated areas of cities and other urban areas for a number of different reasons. Urban renewal projects are usually enacted by a private sector entity who chooses to breathe new life into their structures and the surrounding infrastructure. This revitalization may consist of extreme remodeling of structures or possibly even the demolition of older structures in order to way for newer developments. Locations chosen for urban development projects are typically once-thriving sections of a city that have since fallen into disrepair. Slum-like areas where crime may be abundant, yet show the potential for revitalization, are also candidate areas for urban renewal. In order to attract the interest of other businesses and residential development, older buildings are frequently subject to restoration or demolition to increase the property value of the area.

The Negative Impact of Urban Regeneration

While urban renewal can frequently sound like a win-win for many communities, the practice is not without its opponents. In some instances occurring in the wake of urban renewal, low-income residents of the areas revitalized may be displaced due to rising costs of living and gentrification. Many residents who once called a section of a city or neighborhood home for many years find themselves unable to afford to live where they have roots. This negative impact of urban renewal has led to community leaders seeking to help pass legislation to limit potentially harmful effects of urban renewal.

Urban Revitalization Done Responsibly

Even with its opponents, when urban renewal projects are executed in a responsible fashion that keeps lower-income residents in mind, they may be a boon to all people impacted. The demolition of dangerous and unsightly structures can help facilitate the economic development of a community and decrease crime. When conducted by the governmental entities or non-profit organizations, urban revitalization typically does not have such an initially jarring economic impact on the residents and is frequently invited. When precautions are put in place to limit displacing residents and keeping the price of living manageable, urban renewal can be a great blessing to communities.