Volume 16 (2022-23)

Each volume of Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal consists of four 100-page issues published in both print and online.  

The Articles published in Volume 16 include:

Volume 16 Number 4 (Summer 2023)

  • Editorial: 
    Andrew Tallon, Editor, Journal of Urban Regeneration & Renewal
  • Practice Papers:
    A commentary on the New Urban Agenda
    Brian G. Field, Visiting Professor and Senior Research Fellow, University College London

    The New Urban Agenda (NUA) was adopted at Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, which was held in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016. This paper is informed in large measure by the resulting documentation on the so-called ‘Quito Declaration’ and accompanying ‘Implementation Plan’ set out in the official NUA publications prepared by UN Habitat, as well as drawing on various supporting documents prepared by other UN agencies in the wake of the Declaration. The Implementation Plan lists 175 commitments and principles that respond to the vision and ambitions in the Declaration in which the building of more resilient urban settlements and supporting infrastructure is implicitly seen as the pathway to sustainability, and the adoption of more climate-friendly urban planning and development protocols is therefore a priority. While such ambition is clearly laudable, the paper questions the efficacy of the Agenda’s key principles and associated development guidelines, and asks if these are sufficiently detailed to inform policy makers in pursuit of its aspirations, as well as questioning their flexibility as implementation tools to accommodate geographically specific contextual differences in disparate urban settings. It is not therefore a research paper in the normally accepted academic sense, but is simply an essay-cum-commentary on the Agenda’s progress as it seeks to promote good practice in urban planning, and whether this is likely to deliver on more sustainable development that is also responsive to climate change imperatives.
    Keywords: New Urban Agenda; Habitat III; UN Habitat; sustainable development; resilient cities; climate change; urban development; spatial planning; informal settlements

  • Economic development in a pandemic: Reflections from Melbourne, ‘the world’s most locked-down city’
    Andrew Wear, City Economist and Director of Economic Development and International, City of Melbourne

    This paper explores the key principles of economic development in a pandemic. It does so by drawing on the lessons learned through the economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Australian city of Melbourne. Melburnians experienced 263 days largely confined to their homes, one of the longest lockdown periods in the world, resulting in deserted city streets and a devastated central city economy. The experience forced the City of Melbourne to adopt a range of unique and innovative responses, first to keep businesses afloat during lockdown, and then to reactivate the city. Melbourne did this while keeping a focus on longer-term economic development. This somewhat unique experience makes Melbourne a useful case study informing best-practice economic development in a pandemic. Key lessons emerging from Melbourne’s experience include the need to respond and iterate rapidly, the importance of collaboration with stakeholders and other tiers of government, and the need to maintain a focus on multiple time horizons, even in the midst of the crisis. These insights are potentially transferrable to economic development responses to other crises, including those catalysed by climate change.
    Keywords: COVID-19; pandemic; lockdown; economic development; crisis response; business support; Melbourne

  • Digitisation and renaissance of the manufacturing industry in major cities: The case of Berlin
    Martin Gornig, Research Director, DIW Berlin (German Institute for Economic Research)

    The rise of digitisation will cause a major upheaval in the manufacturing industries, bringing changes to traditional industrial location patterns as well. In order to understand the direction these structural changes are taking, this paper analyses the start-up activity in the industrial sector. The frontrunners are metropolitan regions and in particular major cities such as Berlin or Munich. Furthermore, detailed analysis of the city of Berlin shows higher and stable concentrations of new industrial companies in inner city locations. This spatial pattern requires the proactive application of legal planning instruments for mixed land use, which contributes to the integration of hybrid spaces and clean and green factories in the inner city.
    Keywords: digitisation; high-tech industry; low-tech industry; start-ups; agglomeration; inner city

  • Research papers
    A research study of the complex and comprehensive renovation of the historic dwelling stock in Russian cities
    Daria Lisaia, Vanke Urban Research and Chunyang Zhang, Professor, School of Architecture, South China University of Technology

    This paper presents an overview of the policies, legislative measures and tools for the renovation of the historic dwelling stock in Russian cities. The authors summarise the system of complex dwelling renovation in the historic centres of Russian cities, aimed at conserving the unique historic urban landscapes and enhancing the quality of the human environment. The paper describes and analyses: (1) current legal frameworks for the protection of cultural heritage; (2) system of protection zones of cultural heritage; (3) institutional interactions between state agencies for the protection of cultural heritage (at federal, regional and municipal levels), State Agency of Cadastre and municipal authorities; (4) legal relations between the participants of dwelling renovation programmes. The paper concludes that over the last decades state agencies have made significant progress. At the same time, integration and coordination of effort is a critical part of conserving urban heritage. Additionally, the paper discusses the next steps for future research.
    Keywords: complex renovation of historic dwelling stock; historic urban landscape; urban heritage conservation; urban planning

  • A marketing approach to revitalising town centres
    Fatma Güneri, Research Engineer, HEMiSF4iRE, Fiza Brakel-Ahmed, Lecturer, Vrije Universiteit and Joséphine Fornies, Digital Marketing Assistant, The Wolf Group

    This paper presents some preliminary recommendations for mayors looking to revitalise their town centres. Our qualitative analysis addresses four research questions which provide the mayor with new insights that should increase the town’s economic attractiveness by proposing a place marketing approach.
    Keywords: town centre; shop windows; mayor; branding

  • Rethinking urbanism in Doha: The Qatar National Museum transit-oriented development
    Eman Saleh Al Fadala, Architect, Qatari Diar for Lusail Project, Raffaello Furlan, Associate Professor, Head of Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Reem Awwaad, PhD candidate in Urban Planning, Graduate Assistant, Khalida Lifam Marthya, Research Assistant, Tagwa A. A. Osman, Research Assistant and Rashid Al-Matwi, Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, College of Engineering, Qatar University

    The urban environment of Doha has witnessed a remarkable transformation during the past few decades, which has been triggered by economic growth due to oil and gas revenues. Doha has attracted foreign investment to participate in the urbanisation of the city, specifically in the construction of the smart public transport system (ie Bus Transit [BT], Lusail Light Rail Transit [LRT] and the Doha Metro). As a result, mega projects and transit villages were developed along the public transport system, especially around the major metro stations. These developments align with the national development strategy defined in the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV-2030). This research investigates the development and implementation of transit villages around the transit systems (also known as the transit-oriented development [TOD]) at the Qatar National Museum (QNM) metro station in Old Salata neighbourhood. The research design focuses on: (i) a review of the relevant literature; (ii) the site analysis; and (iii) the generation of an integrated strategy for the development of the transit village of Old Salata. The proposed master plan for QNM TOD is supported by the need for preserving the architectural heritage, through a compact and mixed-use urban form, where multimodal transport systems, green spaces, public amenities and a pedestrian-friendly environment are provided. In turn, the insights from this investigation will contribute to the implementation of an urban planning approach for shaping a liveable community in Doha.
    Keywords: urban growth; sustainable urbanism; National Museum of Qatar; Doha Metro; TOD

  • Analysis of urban intervention processes carried out in core areas of Indian cities
    Akansha Soni, Research Scholar and Puneet Sharma, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Technology Hamirpur

    Core city areas have a distinct character and are culturally vibrant. The impact of rapid urbanisation on the core area has resulted in its decay. It is easily visible in the quality of life of people residing in these areas. Henceforth, there is a need to overcome this imbalance generated over time. This study aims to identify and analyse the various urban intervention processes implemented in core areas. The paper is divided into three sections. The first section broadly discusses the theoretical understanding of various urban intervention processes and their major governing factors. The second section gives a brief view of urban intervention policies introduced in India, and the last section is an overview of various urban intervention projects studied as case examples for formulating the future parameters.
    Keywords: urban interventions; urban policies; built environment; core areas

Volume 16 Number 3 (Spring 2023)

  • Editorial: 
    Andrew Tallon, Editor, Journal of Urban Regeneration & Renewal
  • Practice Papers:
    Solving the riddle of the sands: How to regenerate England’s struggling seaside towns
    John P. Houghton. Freelance Consultant

    Some seaside towns in England are among the very poorest parts of the country. How has this happened, after a century of rapid growth? And what can be done, first to stop and then to reverse the cycle of decline which has affected them, even in the context of climate change having an impact on coastal places? This paper looks at the history of seaside towns in three phases: a century of rapid growth; 50 years of dramatic decline; and the current state of fragile recovery. It examines the causes of that decline in terms of economic recession, social imbalance, physical dereliction and disconnection from the transport network. In the absence of a national strategy for seaside towns, it proposes a locally led agenda for regenerating England’s struggling seaside towns, looking first at strategic imperatives and then at a number of practical actions. It draws throughout on real-world examples.
    Keywords: seaside; deprivation; tourism; economy; society; regeneration

  • Urban regeneration wheel: A practical tool for creating sustainable, thriving communities
    Marco Dall’Orso, Director, Marina Development Corporation

    The paper proposes a five-step effective method for creating sustainable, thriving urban communities, from sky-is-the-limit creative mapping to polished final execution. The underlying belief is that although every urban area is different, the use of the proposed method enables, under certain circumstances, the creation of favourable conditions for sustainable and shared prosperity. Drawing from the author’s two decades of high-profile experience as an urban regeneration expert, the paper offers comments and thoughts on each step, sharing some key lessons learned from real-life project examples. It shows how to identify a community’s unique strengths and competitive advantages, as well as the needs, motivations, inequalities and weaknesses that can be fundamental ingredients for crafting a strong vision for its future. It also proposes how to ensure communities have real purpose and how a collaborative approach can deliver lasting tangible benefits in all contexts — physical, social and economic — and generate places where people are happy to build their lives. Finally, it touches on how to break silos, dissipate political resistance, and disrupt unproductive decision-making structures and traditionally inefficient procedures, for creating sustainable shared value. One of the crucial aspects highlighted is that the proposed method must be intended not as a process with a beginning and an end, but rather a continuous iterative long-term effort aimed at achieving and maintaining a virtuous condition. The implication is that, as the context continues to change over time, it is necessary to create the conditions for ‘strategic urban agility’. This requires the adoption of a culture of flexibility in all regulatory, planning, design, construction and operational dimensions of an urban regeneration initiative.
    Keywords: urban regeneration; cities; neighbourhoods; urban communities; sustainability; impact; real estate development

  • The role of public libraries in urban entrepreneurship
    Elizabeth (Betsey) Suchanic, Inclusive Economic Development Adviser, New Growth Innovation Network, Mark Pond, Business Librarian, Spokane Public Library, and Morgan Perry, Community Resources Coordinator, Grandview Branch, Mid-Continent Public Library

    While public libraries are commonly perceived in their role of providing access to books, many urban public libraries are finding new ways to contribute to local economic growth through services to entrepreneurs and small business owners. This paper explores the unique audiences that public libraries can reach, the assets they provide, explorations into the entrepreneurship ecosystem, and two case studies of library systems. Public libraries provide economic benefits through their physical buildings, economic mobility programmes and services, particularly their workforce development offerings. Building on this, targeted business outreach to entrepreneurs creates a new opportunity for economic impact. As inventoried by public library staff, libraries provide physical space, technology and equipment, training and education and research service assets to local entrepreneurs. The two case studies of urban public libraries in the US, Mid-Continent Public Library, Missouri and Spokane Public Library (SPL), Washington, show different service models to entrepreneurs and business owners and aligned partners. As public libraries continue to evolve their service models in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are additional opportunities for the library to contribute to their local economic recovery.
    Keywords: public library; entrepreneurship; urban; entrepreneurship ecosystem; equitable entrepreneurship

  • 20-minute neighbourhoods: A community perspective from the streets of Scotland
    Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive and Rachel Lee, Policy and Research Manager, Living Streets, Kate Joester, Policy and Influencing Coordinator, and Anne Docherty, Project Manager, Living Streets Scotland

    The Scottish government has made the 20-minute neighbourhoods approach a priority. They are an important part of the nation’s plans for regeneration and its response to the climate crisis. Drawing on the model developed by Plan Melbourne, this paper discusses the application of the 20-minute neighbourhood concept in the established neighbourhoods of North Lanarkshire, Stirling and Dunblane from a community perspective. Based on the findings of a year-long project by Living Streets Scotland, it reminds planners and urbanists interested in creating low-traffic, 15- or 20-minute neighbourhoods or cities that listening to community viewpoints, in particular the voices of women, children, older and disabled people, is essential to their successful implementation. There is no ‘one size fits all’. Walking is literally a street-by-street issue. Every pavement, every crossing, every route — including longer journeys that cannot be walked or cycled — must be joined up for any of it to be accessible.
    Keywords: Scotland; Melbourne; 20-minute neighbourhoods; walking; communities

  • Research papers
    Urban vulnerability to the risk of flooding in the Annaba metropolitan region
    Sid Salah, Head of Urban Management and Techniques Department, University of Biskra, and Sid Ahmed Soufiane, Professor of Urban Planning and Sustainable Development, Badji Mokhtar University

    Water can be a boon as well as be scarce or cause floods. Indeed, floods account for more than 80 per cent of natural disasters recorded in the world between 1996 and 2006, causing damage (human, economic, etc.) on the one hand and changing the image of the city on the other hand. In a developing country such as Algeria, which has been confronted with a ‘crisis of the past, a crisis of the present and a crisis of the future’, it is difficult to see how this situation can be resolved. The aim of this study is therefore to warn of potential future risks, particularly floods, through an in-depth analysis of the vulnerability of natural risks in urban areas in Algeria — in particular the Annaba metropolitan region. The rate of urbanisation of flood-prone areas remains high in the greater Annaba area. The State’s new orthodoxy is largely based on reducing the vulnerability of goods and people to flood risk, which should not be systematically synonymous with the unbuildability or freezing of territories subject to risk. The challenge is to control the urbanisation of the most exposed areas, while allowing the urban and economic renewal of already urbanised or least exposed areas.
    Keywords: vulnerability; prevention plan; urban planning; urban renewal; greater Annaba agglomeration

  • A planning approach to re-envisioning street vendor spaces in Cairo
    Hoda Al-Amir Mohammed Darwish, Lecturer, Cairo University

    Urban regeneration has been an accepted strategy for reviving cities around the globe for decades. In Egypt, the local government in Cairo has launched many regeneration projects: mainly focusing on the formalisation and relocation of street vendors to new public markets. This research tackles the relationship between the design of alternative public markets and the behaviours and needs of street vendors. Six cases in Cairo city, Egypt (El Tunisi, Kasr El Nile, El Turjuman, Ahmed Helmy, Toshka and Ain Helwan, and Misr Street) are analysed using various methods such as observation, surveys, questionnaires and group discussions. The aim is to investigate the reasons behind the failure of alternative markets in Cairo city over the past few years. The results show that unprofitable locations was one crucial factor that led to the rejection of enclosed public markets. Additionally, it was found that the needs of street vendors were not taken into account in the urban design, which provoked street vendors to abandon the alternative markets and strive to fulfil their unsatisfied needs. Another issue is the lack of a strategy to encourage street vendors to participate in the relocation process, which has resulted in vendors abandoning new markets, leading to more economic losses. The research presents a new perspective regarding planning and designing such vital public market spaces that serve a broad sector of the Egyptian community, in an effort to prevent the growth of the informal sector and to ensure the sustainability of regeneration efforts in these markets.
    Keywords: Cairo city; public market; street vendor; relocation problems

  • Strategies for the urban regeneration of the Museum of Islamic Art Park in Doha, Qatar
    Eman Saleh Al Fadala, Architect, Qatari Diar for Lusail Project, Raffaello Furlan, Associate Professor, Head of Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Reem Awwaad, Graduate Assistant, Khalida Lifam Marthya, Research Assistant, Tagwa A. A. Osman, Research Assistant, and Rashid Al-Matwi, Assistant Professor, Qatar University

    Doha has witnessed rapid urban growth, an increasing population rate and a greater reliance on cars as the primary mode of transport. This has caused social and environmental problems related to a sprawling urban pattern, increased levels of air pollution and high traffic congestion, among others. One of the key issues related to urban land use distribution is the lack of connection between green spaces and the neighbouring urban areas. Using the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) as a case study, this research investigates the existing condition of the MIA Park and recommends strategies for implementing urban regeneration and enhancing the accessibility and connectivity of green spaces in Doha. The data is collected through: (1) site observations; (2) unstructured interviews; and (3) visual material (ie photographs and maps). Findings suggest that accessibility to the MIA Park is compromised due to a lack of comprehensive urban design elements and inefficient intermodal integration. The findings provide useful insights for drafting policies for urban and green space integration in a heavily car-dependent Middle Eastern city scenario. The findings contribute to understanding the landscaping of Doha city, namely, how public green spaces are integrated with the urban areas, and how this aligns with the aims of Qatar’s national planning strategies. This study reveals that Doha lacks a well-connected green network that is accessible to all modes of transport, especially pedestrians. National planning strategies need to consider the significant accessibility and connectivity issues in the green spaces of Doha to achieve sustainable development.
    Keywords: urban growth; green urbanism; Corniche; Museum of Islamic Art Park; Doha

  • The city as palimpsest to redefine the role of architectural continuity in re-establishing urban identity in post-industrial landscapes
    Ali Cheshmehzangi, Associate Professor, University of Nottingham, China and Esko Willman, Architectural Practitioner, Friend and Company Architects

    This study reflects on some of the existing research on identifying the city as a palimpsest but through the role of architectural continuity. This is mainly argued as a way to re-establish urban identity in post-industrial urban landscapes and help to reverse the decline of such communities/areas/sites. The paper utilises two case study examples to discuss this important topic in detail. The first case study is an already developed site in Germany, and the second is the one we believe requires immediate and considerate attention in the UK. This research study is an endeavour to strengthen and clarify critical positions toward the ongoing literature, reflecting on an example of a derelict area in the city of Nottingham, and as such should not be viewed as an attempt to provide general, wider-reaching practical solutions to the question of urban identity. Instead, it is the aim to explore, through a literature review and selected case studies, the potentials in converting post-industrial landscapes into publicly accessible spaces and particularly what role this can play in re-establishing an urban identity in the area. The findings from this study contribute to extended research that values the role of architectural continuity and urban identity in post-industrial urban landscapes. In doing so, we believe the city should be recognised and valued as a palimpsest, through which it can provide an opportunity to regenerate its abandoned and derelict areas to enhance community values, pride and growth.
    Keywords: identity; architectural continuity; urban identity; city; palimpsest; post-industrial landscapes

Volume 16 Number 2 (Winter 2022-23)

  • Editorial: 
    Andrew Tallon, Editor, Journal of Urban Regeneration & Renewal
  • Practice Papers:
    How road investment can improve economic prosperity: The case for Northern England
    Owen Wilson, Major Roads Strategy Manager, Transport for the North

    Good roads are critical to modern functioning society, providing flexible mobility options for people to access jobs and services via private car, by bus, or for local trips by foot or cycle. Likewise, almost all freight movements depend on good strategic and local road connections. Investment in transport, including roads, can deliver economic agglomeration and an increase in effective density, also direct user benefits, productivity gains, greater labour market participation and business investment. This paper posits that, to maximise the benefits of road investment, we need a holistic whole-systems approach to aligning policy and infrastructure investment focused on achieving sustainable economic prosperity, improved social inclusivity, environmental goals, and most critically, decarbonisation of transport and the wider economy.
    Keywords: road investment, North of England, Transport for the North, economic prosperity, transport-related social exclusion, major road network

  • The urban system framework
    Langdon Morris, Senior Partner, InnovationLabs and Farah Naz, Director of Innovation and ESG, AECOM Middle East and Africa

    Cities and their surrounding regions are exceptionally complex systems where human needs and human genius come together to invent the future of civilisation. In the current situation of the worsening climate crisis, cities are also an exceptionally important creative resource in helping us learn to live in an entirely new way — to live ‘net zero’. If we take net zero as our goal, what role can the city play in reaching it and how can we manage its vast complexity toward that end? In this paper the authors present a model of the city-as-a-system, detailing five of its key elements that must be proactively managed in an integrated manner to enable us to think through and manage this process of fundamental change.
    Keywords: net zero, cities, climate change, urban, growth, governance, economics, design, master planning

  • Research papers
    Residents’ satisfaction with urban renewal projects in south-western Nigeria
    Adewale O. Yoade, Lecturer, Wesley University Ondo and Victor A. Onifade, Senior Lecturer and Haruna O. Jimoh, Lecturer, University of Lagos

    The study described in this paper examined residents’ satisfaction with urban renewal projects in south-western Nigeria. The aim was to provide guidelines that could enhance sustainable urban renewal projects in the study area. Primary data was collected from residents in selected cities in states in south-western Nigeria. The states were categorised into three homogeneous groups: Lagos/Ogun, Oyo/Osun and Ondo/Ekiti. One state was randomly selected from each group, namely Ogun, Osun and Ondo. Thus, the following capital cities where urban renewal projects were concentrated in these states were selected: Abeokuta, Osogbo and Akure. A set of questionnaires targeted at residents was administered to household heads living in one of every 20 houses in the 31 political wards. A total of 1,671 questionnaires were administered, of which 1,555 copies were retrieved for the study. Data collected was analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Secondary data included maps of political wards from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), maps from ministries of their respective states, number of residential buildings from National Population Commission (NPC), among others. On average, the condition of renewal projects provided by the governments in the study area is moderately satisfactory. Construction and rehabilitation of roads was adjudged the best (3.9 out of 5). Further, a mean score of 2.8 was obtained for all the projects taken together. This shows that the respondents were fairly satisfied with the urban projects implemented in the study area. The study concluded that low level of involvement of members of the public in the planning and implementation of urban renewal in the study area did not negatively influence their acceptability of the projects executed.
    Keywords: urban renewal, satisfaction, projects, sustainability, south-western Nigeria

  • Social media regenerating public spaces: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Cairo
    Reem A. Bakir, Lecturer and Sahar A. Attia, Former Chair, Cairo University

    In an era characterised by intensive digital and virtual practices, people assumed the end of public spaces. This belief was emphasised with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cairo public spaces, ironically, increased in popularity with the closure of all semi-public and semi-private spaces. Egyptians started using them to practise their daily needs of socialising and exercising, benefiting from the new characteristics offered by them during the lockdown period. This paper examines how social media virtual space regenerates the physical public space, aspiring to alter the understanding of public space and public life dialectics. The methodology relies on documenting changes in the public space during the pandemic, via a mixed approach of virtual and physical methods to comprehend the relation between social media users’ online activity and public space users’ offline activity, highlighting the strong correlation between the virtual and physical spaces. The authors conclude with recommendations for tangible and intangible public space policies, based on the socio-spatial implications of COVID-19, to help prepare communities, policymakers, planners and government agencies to organise, respond and work together during the current and future pandemics.
    Keywords: public space, virtual space, social media, public life, regeneration, COVID-19 pandemic

  • An urban regeneration-placemaking strategy for the Qatar National Museum and Souq Waqif ’s transit-oriented development in Doha, State of Qatar
    Raffaello Furlan, Associate Professor, Qatar University, et al.

    In the past 20 years, the State of Qatar has undergone rapid urban growth. Doha, the capital city, has capitalised on large-scale urban and infrastructural projects to strengthen and diversify its economy. The transport system, however, has largely relied on private vehicles, resulting in the need for a new public transit system: the Doha Metro. The recent construction of the metro system is opening up new avenues for the urban regeneration of transit towns as compact, liveable and sustainable neighbourhoods. Due to its historic and cultural significance, the Souq Waqif and the Qatar National Museum (QNM) neighbourhoods have been selected as a case study for this paper to explore and define a strategy for placemaking, based on a sustainable transit-oriented development (TOD) model. The research design is structured in four stages: 1) reviewing the literature about TODs and urbanisation in Qatar; 2) collecting oral and visual data from municipal authorities through structured interviews, site visits and site observations; 3) analysing the collected data and identifying the assessment tools to be adopted; and 4) implementing a novel masterplan focusing on public transit systems as a catalyst for sustainable urban transformation and placemaking. The findings contribute to proposing context-driven design strategies to enhance the liveability of the investigated TODs and to extend their application to other potential transit hubs in metropolitan Doha and in the Middle East.
    Keywords: TOD, transit corridor, liveability, urban regeneration masterplan

  • Squatter settlements’ impact on perception of security in mass housing schemes in developing African cities : The case of Abuja, Nigeria
    Tosin Bamidele, Federal University of Technology Minna, et al.

    Squatter settlements have over the years been characterised by their overcrowding, poor living conditions and the danger they pose to their immediate surroundings. These dwellings evolve as illegal encroachment into areas that are nearby affecting social and economic opportunities. This creates an imbalance in social interaction between squatter settlement dwellers and residents of organised estates. A major result of this action is that the former often becomes a hub for criminals and the latter a target for criminal occurrences. This paper aims at assessing the impact the formation of squatter settlements has on mass housing developments from a security viewpoint. The study concentrated on ten districts in Abuja where mass housing developments and squatter settlements coexist. The methodology adopted for this paper is a mixed-method approach with the use of questionnaires, interviews and an observation checklist. The data obtained was analysed using descriptive statistics from SPSS. The results are presented in tables, charts and figures while pictures are used to assist with the visual understanding of the phenomena observed during the study which help explain some of the data. The results ascertained that the squatter settlements will continue to pose a security challenge to urban dwellers in the mass housing estates and the city at large if plans are not put in place to include these informal habitats in the overall city planning and development by the responsible authorities. The paper concludes by suggesting that affordable dwelling spaces for low-income earners should be included in the design of estates for the residents of Abuja.
    Keywords: estates, informal, mass housing, settlements, squatter

  • The profile of foreign urban gardeners in the municipalities of Lombardy (Italy)
    Valentina Cattivelli, Researcher, Lecturer and Project Manager

    This paper offers the first insight into the profile (origin, age, family background) of foreign urban gardeners in Lombard municipalities. The cultivation of urban gardens encourages socialisation among gardeners and the rest of the population, and also consolidates social capital at local level. Studies confirming these benefits proliferate in the current literature. However, they estimate these effects with reference to the entire population of gardeners, without specifically considering the consequences for particular social sub-groups. This scarce knowledge prevents a better understanding of the characteristics of these sub-groups and the individual benefits that can be derived from the cultivation. This is especially true for the subset of foreign gardeners, which is currently understudied. This group consists of foreign-born people who live in Italian municipalities for family or work reasons and cultivate an urban garden at present. Since their cultivation promotes socialisation, urban gardens could play a decisive role for accelerating the integration of this group into their local communities and therefore reduce the risk of social isolation and marginalisation. The description of the profile of foreign gardeners is proposed for Lombardy since here the foreign resident population is continuously growing at regional level. Currently, foreign-born residents represent about 12 per cent of the entire population (the highest percentage in Italy). Although the Lombard regional government has legally recognised the importance of urban gardens, there is no database of cultivated plots, or detailed information related to the number of gardens cultivated by foreign-born residents, at a regional level. As a result of the elaboration of answers to a questionnaire, many Lombard municipalities have experimented with urban gardening projects in their territories. The municipalities in question are primarily located around provincial capitals and in the area between Milan and Bergamo. Some of these municipalities have allocated urban gardens to foreign citizens; these municipalities are located across the region, but particularly in the provincial capitals and in the municipalities closest to these urban centres. Foreign gardeners come predominantly from North Africa and Eastern Europe. Most of them are over 40 years old, married and have children. Only in two municipalities are the foreign gardeners more likely to be single or without children.
    Keywords: foreign gardeners, urban gardens, Lombardy, integration, foreign citizens

  • Book review
    The Elgar companion to urban infrastructure governance, innovation, concepts, and cases
    Reviewed by Marie Howland, Professor Emerita, Urban Studies and Planning Program, University of Maryland

Volume 16 Number 1 (Autumn/Fall 2022)

  • Editorial: 
    Andrew Tallon, Editor, Journal of Urban Regeneration & Renewal
  • Practice Papers:
    The climate crisis and regeneration
    Andrew Maliphant, Project Manager, The Community Works

    This introductory view of the relationships and issues that connect contemporary urban regeneration with the climate crisis and its consequences represents a work in progress. While noting many close connections between regeneration and climate action, the paper suggests that full understanding of the connections and their further development requires much more work in clarifying the detail around climate change challenges. These challenges come at every level of society from individual people to international governments, and good practice is emerging. As well as mitigation and adaptation — the two key actions in response to climate change — there is need for clear communication, both to educate us all about these actions and to support campaigning to encourage other groups and agencies to do so as well. The burning question overall is what will good and effective regeneration look like under these changing conditions? There is a need to review and potentially replace past solutions with approaches that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, so that we can become more fit for the 22nd century.
    Keywords: adaptation, climate change, climate action, climate crisis, joined-up, mitigation, regeneration, sustainability

  • The vibrant 15-minute geographies of suburban Morristown, NJ
    N. David Milder, Founder and President, DANTH, Inc. and William F. Ryan, Community Business Development Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison

    The notion of 15-minute geographies, neighbourhoods and cities has caught considerable attention among noted urbanists and the media, sparked by the actions taken in Paris to create vibrant 15-minute neighbourhoods. Their defining characteristics were, however, often unclear or questionable: how many of their residents’ needs and wants needed to be satisfied within them? Did they need to significantly diminish car use? Did the use of drive sheds mean an inauthentic 15-minute geography? Could they only be defined by walk or bike trips? These issues are addressed in this paper as we take up the particular assertion that suburbs cannot have 15-minute geographies because auto use would be necessary for residents to access the services and venues that can meet their needs and wants. In doing so, we argue that these geographies have two types of areas that must be analysed: a core walk trip-defined area, and a drive shed-defined associated access area.
    Keywords: 15-minute geographies, city, urban regeneration, Morristown, New Jersey

  • High street regeneration in Rotterdam : How a local alliance turned an inner-city commercial street from no-go to must-visit
    Ad Hereijgers, Director, RITTERWALD Consulting B.V.

    Dedicated leadership from local businesspeople and long-term commitment of resources by major stakeholders such as social landlords and municipalities can best solve persistent social and economic problems in high streets, even if the problems originate in wider urban society. Rotterdam, Europe’s port city, is a case in point and the regeneration approach developed in the area of West-Kruiskade in Rotterdam is an interesting case to study and learn from. This urban regeneration project demonstrates that success takes time (think decades, not years), requires a comprehensive contract at the start (trust is good, a binding contract is better), dedicated leadership (personal commitment as a crucial skill set), business like decision making (acting from the heart) and finally aiming for the best (no compromises, better safe than sorry). The project also demonstrates that urban regeneration requires continuous attention to remain successful after everyone considers the project completed. This last observation is important to enable local business people to keep up the good work if the major stakeholders dial back their resources.
    Keywords: urban regeneration, urban policy, business improvement districts, public private partnerships, social impact assessment, sustainable finance, local economic development, urban governance, gentrification, public space

  • Research papers:
    Prospective role of affordable housing delivery mechanisms in Egypt
    Sally Mahmoud Soliman, Assistant Lecturer, Hala Saad Mekawi, Professor of Housing and Urban Planning and Ahmed Mahmoud Yousry, Professor of Housing and Urban Planning and Former Dean of Faculty of Urban and Regional Planning, Cairo University

    As recognised by the United Nations (UN), the opportunity to access adequate affordable housing is one of the most vital needs of people throughout the world. In Egypt, there is a wide gap between this goal and the competence of the applied planning, financial, and management and control mechanisms related to affordable housing delivery. This paper aims at enhancing the affordable housing delivery process in Egypt, by addressing the shortcomings in currently implemented mechanisms. It investigates affordable housing mechanisms in five selected developed and developing countries (Austria, UK, USA, India, China) and compares them to currently applied mechanisms and programmes in Egypt, in an attempt to highlight their shortcomings and potential amendments. From the results of this analysis, and the outcome of a structured interview with Egyptian stakeholders comprising housing academia, the paper finally presents a proposed list of planning, financial, and management and control mechanisms for affordable housing delivery in Egypt that could play a more effective role and enhance the affordable housing market.
    Keywords: housing mechanisms, affordable housing, housing provision, low-income housing, housing programmes

  • Utilisation of open spaces: A case study of Phaya Thai district, Bangkok
    Le Thi Thu Huong, Senior Lecturer, Vietnamese-German University, Vietnam & Assumption University, Thailand and Le Thi Kieu, Scientific Associate, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany

    Phaya Thai is an inner-city district of Bangkok, Thailand, which has quite high mixed-use density and overall fair development. These advantages have attracted many people to live and work there, which increases multi-aspect demands, including on green and open spaces. Therefore, appropriate solutions for increasing these spaces are needed. Among several approaches, utilisation of existing spaces is highly recommended for Phaya Thai district due to its lack of available land for new development. This paper explores the existing open spaces in the district and identifies opportunities for utilising them to increase the greenery or improve their use. Mainly by mapping and observation, the physical attributes of existing spaces are investigated. Based on that, development concepts are proposed through 2D and 3D visualisation. These can be used as a reference for future revitalisation or development of the district, as well as for other areas with similar features, for which further feasibility studies are needed to identify the physical and socio-economic characteristics of specific locations.
    Keywords: open space, utilisation, Phaya Thai district, Bangkok

  • Autonomous vehicles and changing the future of cities: Technical and urban perspectives
    Ahmed Hosney Radwan, Vice Dean for Postgraduate Studies & Research, Professor of Architecture & Urban Design Professor and Ahmed Abdel Ghaney Morsi, Associate Professor of Architecture & Urban Design, Helwan University

    When the first car hit the road in the early 19th century, municipal officials, architects and urban planners had to think differently about the infrastructure and mass development of cities, whether existing or new. The age of narrow roads, pedestrians and short journeys gave way to wide boulevards, interstate highways and suburban growth. These urban planning improvements were intended to enable the car to transport a greater number of people more quickly and safely, without the drawbacks of urban transit. This caused cities to suffer from issues such as unnecessary demolition of houses, degradation of areas for roads, reduction or loss of public transport and dislocation of intimate communities. Now that the mass market will embrace autonomous cars, buses and other innovations over the next decade, urban designers and officials need to reconsider how disruptive technologies can influence our way of life, work and play. Autonomous vehicles (AVs) provide a new way of joining social conversations about urban infrastructure, mobility, community and street functions. AVs will disrupt the urban areas between city centres and the rural outskirts. This paper analyses the impact of AVs on modelling urban forms. The AV has the advantage of optimising various parking locations, thus freeing up the downtown area for other uses. The reduced cost per kilometre is also a popular advantage. Increased access to AVs benefits workers’ welfare, traffic flow, travel distances and city size. The paper concludes by discussing the overall implications of AV implementation for urban transport and mass transit.
    Keywords: urban mobility, urban mobility automation, self-driving car, autonomous vehicle (AV)

  • Book review
    Net zero city: The ten-year transformation plan: How to overcome the climate crisis by 2032
    Reviewed by Nick Bailey