Urban renewal is a program of land redevelopment in areas of moderate to high density urban land use. It can be envisaged as the physical and infrastructural changes in land use, built environment or the use of land or building that could be considered as inevitable outcome of the action from economic, social, political, technical and environmental forces acting upon urban areas at different times of its existence. The Housing Act of 1949 kick-started the “urban renewal” program that would reshape America’s cities. The Act provided federal funding to cities to cover the cost of acquiring areas of cities perceived to be “slums”.
It is a program designed to help communities improve and revitalize areas that have deteriorated, are unsafe and show signs of economic or physical conditions that are detrimental to the community as a whole. Urban renewal in the built environment grows the social, environmental and economic sustainability of a place. Urban renewal is to improve these blighted areas so that property values within the urban renewal district increase over time and ultimately benefits the City as a whole. Public and private investment made within the urban renewal area could help improve your property’s value.
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Urban renewal brings astronomical change to a society, changing its physical appearance to bring a unique anatomy in a community. The aim of the urban renewal program is to create sustainable structures of economic regeneration, to encourage business development and diversification, and to find solutions to serious social problems caused by the crisis situations that are common in many depressed urban areas. Unemployment levels, annual earning figures and the number of people that are employed in professional or working jobs are all great measures of the economical aspects. A positive alteration in these figures would indicate a success in the urban renewal program. Social aspects can be measured by reviewing crime rates, car ownership, private amenities and the property ownership.
Crime rates will significantly go down because, areas will be much more cleaner and patrolled by the cops more often. Urban regeneration increases the economy in many ways. People will be more attracted to the community, businesses such as restaurants, shopping mall, movie theaters, and other capital commodities will without a doubt increase their net worth exponentially. Ironically for industrial city, tourism will proliferate, cities will acquire vast amounts of income by having a renewal or redevelopment project.
Suburbanization and urban decay, the federal government empowered cities with new tools to combat the decay of housing, spark new development, and appease stakeholders to invest and renovate the city to look better to attract more wealth(Foner: 3). Urban renewal is critical to the success of local communities and the long-term prosperity of citizens living in urban areas. Without urban renewal, there would be no incentive for developers to tackle the challenges associated with redevelopment, and deteriorating downtown areas would be subject to increased crime and safety problems. Process of urban renewal would help to contribute towards the preservation of structures of architectural value and significant historical importance.
A sustainable renewal act should therefore endeavour to lesson social exclusion, boost city economy, as well as salvage architecturally rich buildings(Foner: 4). It is also clear that cities can upgrade their position in the global hierarchy by strategically preserving landmarks and develop new architectural structure to attract tourists and stimulate the economy even more. Regeneration is about transforming places for the better.
For housing led renewal a key policy aim should be to create mixed communities, including communities where there is a mix of incomes and housing. Urban renewal is about creating vibrant, safe and attractive communities, that are well planned and well designed, with a diverse and attractive environment, and a sense of identity and pride.The purpose of urban renewal is to improve specific areas of a city that are poorly developed or underdeveloped.
These areas can have old deteriorated buildings and bad streets and utilities or the areas can lack streets and utilities altogether. The most common type of urban renewal project is infrastructure development, including streets and utilities. Urban renewal also commonly funds parks, plazas and pedestrian facilities. These urban renewal projects are aimed at making areas attractive and ready for private investment. urban renewal gives municipalities an opportunity to upgrade residential infrastructure in old neighborhoods at the developer’s expense. Many municipalities promote urban renewal projects, thus gaining the construction of new commercial areas, kindergartens and schools, healthcare facilities and more. Areas that undergo urban renewal processes get an infusion of new and younger populations, as crime rates drop, the quality of life rises and with it the residents` satisfaction.
Restoring crumbling or abandoned buildings and adding new structures can breath life into what was once a dead and empty area. Abandoned buildings provide environments for criminal activity, such as drug use. Revitalizing these areas typically includes a ramped-up police presence, which can decrease the criminal element in urban areas. However, this is not always the case, and if crime is not sufficiently contained, consumers will not visit these urban areas, and business owners will close up shop and move to safer areas in the suburbs. This exodus leads to urban decay.
In short, when crime drops drastically, low-income neighborhoods come back to life. Commercial strips blossom with new businesses, housing improves, streets become safe at night, mediating institutions become stronger, and disorder vanishes from public spaces. Developing urban areas can result in new businesses, and existing companies usually experience an increase in business. Businesses follow population growth, especially in developing urban areas. For example, if a company builds or renovates a structure that houses a large number of employees, this may encourage new restaurants in that area to feed the company’s employees. And other people besides the company’s employers will also flock to this area to eat.
The success of these companies encourages other types of businesses, such as dry cleaners, an automotive repair shop, a grocery and a drug store to consider moving to this location. As a result, the city’s economy grows.The quality of life provided by urban development may vary from person to person. For instance, some urban dwellers may enjoy the excitement of city life, and living in close proximity to stores, museums and bars.
They also enjoy the variety of people that they regularly come in contact with. However, some people may equate city excitement with noise, and prefer the quiet and the expansiveness of suburban living.