Volume 14 (2020-21)

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 14 include:

Volume 14 Number 4

  • Editorial: The ongoing UK regeneration agenda
    Andrew Tallon, Editor, Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of the West of England
  • Practice Papers:
    A new future for Scotland’s towns
    Phil Prentice, Chief Officer, Scotland’s Towns Partnership

    Towns are often overlooked. They are, however, a key element of global urban infrastructure. Decline is not inevitable. Towns and town centres are for the well-being of people, the planet and the economy. Towns are for everyone, and everyone has a role to play in making our towns and town centres successful. The Scottish Government review, ‘A New Future for Scotland’s Towns’, is an attempt to use its town centres to help deal with COVID-19 recovery, tackle the climate emergency and deal with systemic market failures while attempting to rebalance taxation to enable collaborative and community-focused investment into town centres. The review captured input from a wide range of stakeholders, from pension funds and the commercial property sector to local government and community groups. Importantly, housing, digital, climate, transport, culture, health and economy sectors were engaged. The review also listened to the ‘unheard voices’ in society: migrants, poverty forums, young people, the disabled, etc. Communities felt disconnected but there was a recognition that some places were doing well and that we can learn from them. We discovered that there was a substantial over-provision of retail space and that housing and planning policies needed to adjust to allow more residential and mixed used solutions. Not enough was being done on climate, digital or well-being. There were systemic imbalances in how businesses were being taxed and how development was being encouraged. A positive interim response to the report has already been agreed by central and local government. The next step is driving these recommendations forward collectively and in close consultation with the key stakeholders. We expect this work will take place over summer 2021, with a new Town Centre Action Plan setting out detailed proposals to enact the recommendations in the autumn. This review will ensure that Scotland remains at the forefront of town centre regeneration; a holistic place-based approach involving all actors should see substantial improvements made over the coming years.
    Keywords: town centres, high street regeneration, COVID-19 recovery, climate, well-being economy

  • Long-term stewardship of green spaces: When urban regeneration meets social regeneration
    Euan Hall, Chief Executive, The Land Trust

    This paper explores the challenges and the importance of long-term stewardship of green spaces. It looks at the role they play in bringing communities together and creating great places for people to live, work and play. It explores past mistakes and provides evidence for the positive impact green infrastructure can make in health and well-being, community and social cohesion and the economy.
    Keywords: green space, social value, environment, emotional well-being, placemaking, placekeeping, development

  • Think locally, act collectively
    Andrew Maliphant, Project Manager, The Community Works

    The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many English town and parish councils to consider how they might help revitalise their already-declining town and village centres and high streets. Some places have been lucky enough to benefit from UK Government funding, others are needing to find other ways to make a difference. A number of key steps are emerging: 1) involving local residents and businesses from the outset; 2) establishing a regeneration partnership with other organisations; 3) working with all the above to create a shared regeneration strategy; 4) finding the funds to make a difference over time. This paper shares the experience of a number of places as they gather the partners and techniques to bring a regeneration programme to life, and also seek to ensure that local projects are sustainable enough to deliver the desired local outcomes.
    Keywords: town centre, high street, parish council, town council, town team, regeneration

  • Four decades as a downtown professional
    Gary Ferguson, Executive Director, Downtown Ithaca Alliance

    Downtown rejuvenation has matured as an industry and a profession. Downtown practitioner Gary Ferguson has served in the field of downtown place management and development for over four decades. This paper presents a synopsis of this 40-year journey, reflecting on four categories of professional reference: salient trends, professional lessons, concerns for the future and observations about the profession. The author notes that 40 years ago the work of downtown rejuvenation was a blossoming industry, melded from marketing, economic development, chambers of commerce and private industry. By 2021, the work of downtown rejuvenation and place making has become its own bona fide profession. Among the topics surveyed are gentrification and the lack of middle market housing opportunities, the dizzying evolution of retail and its impact on downtown centres, and the unending and constant change that occurs in downtown districts. The author reflects upon the continued strength of suburbia, even during the resurgence and boom of the downtown district across the globe. He also notes the importance of partnerships and community champions in fostering strong success in the downtown revitalisation and the critical role of strategic planning in guiding downtown rejuvenation over the long term. The evolution of place making is also addressed. Forty years ago, place making was considered a frivolous and soft exercise; today place making is regarded as a fundamental part of a successful economic development strategy.
    Keywords: downtown professional, place making, business improvement district (BID), revitalisation, rejuvenation, partnership, strategic planning

  • Research papers
    An interdisciplinary assessment model for supporting decision making in urban regeneration plans: A case study of the Maspero Triangle, Cairo City, Egypt
    Shaimaa A. Magdi, Associate Professor, Fayoum University

    Urban regeneration plays a key role in achieving urban sustainability at several levels via multidisciplinary activities. Regeneration plans in Egypt have policy and investment devoted to them, but they often fail to create sustainable urban environments that can meet community needs. Stakeholders and financiers involved in regeneration should consider the social sustainability angle to a far greater degree. The aim of this paper is to close the gap between regeneration top-down planning policies and the bottom-up initiatives of community associations through an interdisciplinary assessment model. This model combines different evaluation tools and provides a decision support system framework that can improve the quality and transparency of decisions in regeneration plans. This paper provides a theoretical background which clarifies the problem, outlines the objectives and explains the fundamental scientific terms of research variables for better understanding the complexity of regeneration processes. It conducts multiple quantitative assessment attributes with comparative analysis between different studies. Finally, the paper proposes an interdisciplinary assessment model with a detailed analysis of a pilot case study of the Maspero Triangle area located in the centre of Cairo, Egypt.
    Keywords: regeneration plans in Egypt, regeneration process, interdisciplinary assessment prototype, decision support system

  • Rethinking masterplanning: A case study of Ramallah city, Palestine
    Salem Thawaba, Chairman and Director, Birzeit University and Meran Natour, Urban Planner, Ramallah Municipality

    Conventional masterplanning (Euclidean) proved to be a failure in the case of Ramallah. The planning process for Ramallah city could not cope with the rapid urban growth in a sustainable way. Ramallah faces increasing urban sprawl, scattered neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the city and vehicular congestion. This study introduces a new approach within the complex context of geopolitical constraints and obsolete planning regulations through rethinking masterplanning. In this study, spatial, statistical, sectorial and temporal analyses of the past masterplans were conducted. The proposed urban planning approach/scheme focuses on urban growth in a well-connected city centre, enforcing new sub-centres, endorses qualities of compactness, transport-oriented, walkable, pedestrian/bicycle-friendly, and above all encourages mixed land use development. Ultimately the aim is to create polycentricity in Ramallah that will embrace three self-sufficient sub-centres in addition to the central business district (CBD).
    Keywords: sprawl, polycentricity, growth management, mixed-use, Palestine

  • Reconceptualising everyday public spaces: An alternative approach in the design of market spaces
    Aarthi Rajaram, Graduate, Vellore Institute of Technology and Sharmila Jagadisan, Associate Professor, Vellore Institute of Technology

    Public spaces play a variety of roles in cities in everyday life and contribute to people’s health, happiness and well-being. People make places and they live on memories, emotions and values by interacting with a particular place and locality. Successful public spaces require diversity, activities, and to be closely linked to the physical setting (milieu) to enable and boost different types of activities and functions. This study attempts to explore the socio-spatial dynamics in everyday public spaces with a primary focus on understanding the evolution and pattern of development of market spaces. This paper looks at the case of the Krishna Rajendra (KR) market in Bengaluru, which is one of the oldest markets located in the city’s centre. The market, due to the expansion of the city, has grown into an unorganised and chaotic space. This research aims to understand the unorganised development of the KR market space and its impact on the people and existing urban fabric through a series of surveys and documentation. It also proposes policies to provide a new paradigm for shopping.
    Keywords: socio-spatial dynamics, everyday public spaces, markets

  • Smart urbanism in historical occurrences and recurrences: An evolutionary perspective between critical and progressive factors
    Stefano de Falco, Director, IRGIT – Istituto di Ricerca sulla Geografia della Innovazione Territoriale, Università degli Studi di Napoli

    The disruptive explosion of technology that has characterised these last decades has, erroneously, been considered in an early period as the main plan of interest for the studies of global phenomena, especially smart phenomena, while instead the exact opposite is true, because these phenomena represent projections of the new micro-urban phenomena that are seen in smart cities and in the corollaries related to smart urbanism. The most significant emblematic smart urban elements are able to highlight the transition towards new sociocultural paradigms at a global level, which constitute and represent the theoretical foundations of every current process of urban regeneration and renewal. Since the 1980s when the informatics revolution exploded, the magnitude of the revolutionary effects on, first, urban and second, global paradigms have been continuously determined by smart urbanism, as touched upon within the current analysis. It makes sense to reflect on the most relevant transition, in terms of urban planning implications, that has already characterised the course of history and which seems to be recurring in another form: the transition from a hunter-gatherer society to a farmer society by the use of advanced technologies. This transition is currently fully present, in which urban environments become smart cities and smart work becomes prey. Therefore, the citizens are moving away from hunters of traditional work and are increasingly becoming farmers of smart work. The current paper, based on theoretical reflections, reviews research in the field to highlight that there are conflicting views in smart city planning and analyses the concept of smart urbanism with historical comparisons, focusing on both positive and negative urban implications.
    Keywords: smart urbanism, smart city, smart mentality, evolutionary perspective

  • The use of web technologies in urban planning management in Russian cities
    Michael Vilenskii, Associate Professor, St Petersburg State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering and Olga Smirnova, Associate Professor, St Petersburg Mining University

    The emergence of web technologies has created new conditions for the improvement of town planning activity by municipal authorities in cities. There are more opportunities to receive and process increasing amounts of information for new forms of interaction with the urban community, and for the more cost-effective and efficient use of management systems. The improvement of urban planning management in cities increases both their investment attractiveness and their appeal to citizens. Official websites provide a basic source of information about a city and have become especially relevant in the context of high population migration and increasing competition between cities as centres of settlement. This study reviews the use of web technologies in the field of urban management adopted by the 50 largest cities in Russia; cities of federal importance, such as Moscow and St Petersburg, were excluded from this study. The study recommends measures that cities should take to improve and develop their technology assets. The technologies used in urban management and the effectiveness of cities to meet the needs of residents, property owners, business owners and investors were evaluated in this study.
    Keywords: urban management, web technologies, efficiency, urban information system, websites, smart city, official urban digital space, e-government

  • Book reviews
    Cities and Communities Beyond Covid-19: How Local Leadership can change our future for the Better
    Reviewed by Nick Bailey, Emeritus Professor of Urban Regeneration, University of Westminster
  • London’s Mayor at 20: Governing a Global City in the 21st Century
    Reviewed by Nick Bailey, Emeritus Professor of Urban Regeneration, University of Westminster

Volume 14 Number 3

  • Editorial: Levelling up the UK: Continuity or change in regeneration policy?
    Andrew Tallon, Editor
  • Practice Papers:
    Methods for the identification of urban, rural and peri-urban areas in Europe: An overview
    Valentina Cattivelli, Researcher and Project Manager, Municipality of Cremona

    This paper explores the methods formulated to identify urban, rural and peri-urban areas in Europe over the last 15 years. The traditional methods based on urban–rural dichotomy are no longer functional to describe these territories, which are in constant transformation due to changes in urbanisation, demographic dynamics and economic specialisation. As such, statistical institutions, governmental organisations and scholars have developed new methods to delimitate urban and rural areas and have shed new light on the possibilities of describing peri-urban areas more accurately. However, their efforts to find the ‘perfect classification method’ that would precisely identify all the territories has led to an overproduction of methods and techniques. Thanks to an analysis of official and statistical documents as well as scientific papers published on this issue, this paper lists these new methods and clusters them in several classes based upon the variables they use to classify territories: demographic dynamics, economic and social indicators, distance and settlement structures, as well as the combination of some of these variables. Findings suggest that the most widely used methods are those based on demographic and socio-economic variables. Hybrid methods that result from the combination of several variables are less used.
    Keywords: urban definition, urban–rural, territorial classification, urban–rural linkages, peri-urban areas

  • Surplus sacred space: Reflections on the impending glut of US church property
    Rick Reinhard, Principal, Niagara Consulting Group

    Dramatically more churches will close in the US over the next decade as the numbers of self-identified Christians declines, the COVID-19 pandemic inflicts financial pain and the large number of church buildings become unwieldy. Churches that wish to survive must examine alternate uses for much of their overbuilt real estate. Congregations, developers and municipalities must be ready for how to redevelop empty church sites and how to convert existing churches to mixed use. Municipal agencies and developers must understand how to deal with churches, given the special nature of their mission and their decentralised management structures. This paper discusses how it is in the best interests of churches, developers and communities to plan for alternate uses of church properties. It concludes that collaboration on church redevelopment and repurposing will result in significant benefits for all involved. Brief case studies of four churches are presented, with relevant questions.
    Keywords: church, house of worship, faith-based, regeneration, redevelopment, renewal

  • Approaches to transformative urban mobility
    Daniel Moser, Management Head, Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative

    This paper focuses on approaches to transformative urban mobility from the perspective of someone working on a global implementation initiative. It highlights the role of sustainable mobility for implementing the sustainable development goals (SDG) and to combat climate change. Sustainable mobility is discussed including its definition, benefits, challenges and possible solutions. Moreover, it outlines the importance of transformative change. The author describes the work of the global cooperation initiative from the perspective of the German development agency involved in this initiative in terms of implementing sustainable development. He pays special attention to the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) and gives insight into how it works globally, using a holistic approach and a people-centred understanding of mobility. The paper explains the TUMI challenges and describes examples of implemented pilot projects and initiatives which aim to accelerate action by developing and supporting new and accelerated implementation programmes. The author shares his knowledge and learning experiences from research and practice. Stronger action on capacity development and lessons learned from prompt implementation efforts on the ground aid transformative urban mobility change. The paper argues that sustainable mobility is accessible by everyone, safeguarding socioeconomic participation, improves the quality of life and reduces emissions, leading to health benefits. The author suggests that accelerating global sustainable mobility is much needed to tackle climate change and global inequality.
    Keywords: challenges, sustainable mobility, SDGs, climate change, transformation

  • Research Papers
    The relationship between traffic congestion and land uses: A case study of Al-Kut city, Iraq
    Ihsan Abbas Jasim, Assistant Professor, Wasit Univerity, Thaer Sh. Mahmood, Professor, University of Anbar, Sohaib K. Al-Mamoori, Assistant Professor, University of Kufa and Laheab A. Al-Maliki, Civil Engineer, Al-Qasim Green University

    Traffic congestion is one of the major problems that contemporary cities need to address. Decision makers in cities, interested in finding appropriate strategic solutions to a very complex problem, are faced with an ever greater headache each year. The solutions available should not cost billions of dollars or lead to the construction of bridges or tunnels that move the problem from one place to another, thereby creating new bottlenecks. Individuals who drive in these congested areas often sit for long periods in traffic, and this leads to physical and emotional stress as well as decreased performance and productivity. This study constructed a mathematical model that illustrates the relationship between traffic congestion and the distribution of land use in the city of Al-Kut, demonstrating that land use planning can have a significant impact on congestion levels in the near and long term.
    Keywords: land use, transport, congestion, traffic, city of Al Kut

  • A discussion on the association between space, power and human inhabitancy in an age of new urbanism: Differential claims from Kolkata, India
    Apala Saha, Assistant Professor, Banaras Hindu University

    First world spaces within third world cities emerge as a consequence of the uncontrolled injection of capital. In this age of new urbanism, cohabitation becomes a concern which demands discussion. Therefore, the basic objective of this research has been to capture the spatial interface of class and inhabitancy, within an understanding of the ‘right to the city’ concept, in the way it exists in the city of Kolkata, India. The argument has been developed by spatially segregating the city in terms of economic cores and peripheries and subsequently cores within cores and peripheries, and peripheries within cores and peripheries. The argument concludes with the understanding that, to those occupying different physical realities of the city, poverty or the lack of it, inhabitation or the lack of it, and rights or the lack of them are everyday existential truths and thus the claims are not directed towards an inter-category shift but are more intra-category in nature, given the categorical realities of each individual citizen (or, rather, ‘city’zen).
    Keywords: right to the city, new urbanisms, inhabitancy, differential claims

  • The search for identity in a global world: The case of Doha in Qatar
    Djamel Boussaa, Associate Professor, Deema Alattar, PhD candidate in architecture and Sara Nafi, PhD candidate in urban planning, Qatar University

    During the second half of the 20th century, urban areas in the Arabian Gulf countries underwent massive change as they transformed from small villages into global cities. This was due to these countries’ development from pearling- and fishing-based economies into ones based on oil, followed by in many cases by efforts to transition into more broad-based economies. In the case of Doha, the capital of Qatar, oil revenues have been used to develop a new modern city, but little attention was paid to the conservation of the local cultural heritage. Many buildings that were old were treated as reminders of an earlier, poorer life and thus gave way to more modern replacements. High-rise buildings were built for economic benefit and to project the image of a global city. Meanwhile, rapid development led to an expansion of the city in all directions. In parallel, the old city centre deteriorated and has become an area of refuge for low-income foreign workers. Today, Doha has become a global city, its coastal skyline gleaming with glassy high-rise buildings, but with few reminders of the local Qatari culture. The demolition process and construction of modern buildings and facilities has led many to feel that the city has lost its identity and sense of place. This paper explores the recent efforts to conserve and reconstruct the local city identity. For example, some construction projects are following newer trends based on renovation and rehabilitation; these include the rehabilitation project of Souk Waqif and the ongoing Msheireb regeneration project. In addition, a number of new projects make use of the local Qatari architectural style, as is the case with the Gulf Mall, the Ministry of Interior and the traffic headquarters buildings.
    Keywords: historic city, conservation, identity, regeneration, adaptive reuse, globalisation

  • Strategy for shading walkable spaces in the GCC region
    Ahmad Mohammad Ahmad, Assistant Professor, Qatar University, Ahmad Muhammad Ahmad, Site Engineer, Birmingham University and Abdullahi Adamu Aliyu, Course Leader, De Montfort University

    The Gulf region experiences a hot and arid climate that makes walkability almost impossible, leading to reliance on private vehicular transport that contributes towards high carbon footprint in various dense urban settlements within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. Public transport plays a vital role in the reduction of carbon emissions from the increasing amount of private transport. There is a gap, however, since pedestrians within hot and arid regions need to get to their various destinations under shaded conditions. This calls for shaded walkways during regeneration of the urban fabric to facilitate walking for transit and, where possible, walking for leisure. The paper addresses the need for walkable spaces; it looks at Qatar’s regeneration as a case study, analyses efforts made in similar climatic conditions and provides adaptable solutions that can facilitate walkability within existing and urban regeneration. The paper proposes the use of both natural and artificial modes of shading, taking into account the challenges currently faced within hot and arid regions. A transport-oriented development (TOD) approach is proposed as an adaptive solution to formulate a strategy for shading transit routes/pathways for pedestrians. The strategy was conceptually developed and reviewed through a focus group with industry experts. The findings of the study can provide a strategy to improve walkability within the GCC region during regeneration projects. Walkability adds value to facilities and infrastructure while improving healthy lifestyle and reduces reliance on private modes of transport through improved connected spaces. Walkability can improve public transit and reduce carbon emissions within urban city clusters.
    Keywords: shading, pedestrians, regeneration, transport, climate

  • Book review: About Star Architecture: Reflecting on Cities in Europe
    Reviewed by Federico Camerin, University of Valladolid

Volume 14 Number 2

  • Editorial: COVID-19 and regenerating towns and cities
    Andrew Tallon, Editor
  • Papers:
    What is wrong with housing in Eastern Europe today?
    David Ireland, Chief Executive, World Habitat

    The fall of communism in Eastern Europe was one of the most significant and dramatic events in the second half of the 20th century. While it has brought huge improvements in people’s lives, it has also led to serious housing shortages, resulting in a severe lack of affordable housing and rapidly rising homelessness. The author discusses the main implications of this and highlights the current situation in two former communist countries. Here he focuses on the approaches taken at a sub-government level, including how communities are working to take control and design and build homes themselves.
    Keywords: housing, communism, homelessness, community-led housing, Bratislava, Slovenia

  • Remote work: An example of how to identify a downtown-related trend breeze that probably will outlast the COVID-19 crisis
    N. David Milder, Founder and President, Danth

    Crises are well known for their ability to create significant economic, social and political changes. In their midst, however, it is often difficult to identify those new trends that will last well beyond the crisis. That can make planning to resolve major problems difficult until the crisis eases or passes. To facilitate useful contingent planning, this paper outlines a process for identifying those trend breezes most likely to endure and be true and impactful trends. It then applies this analytical process to the huge increase in remote working that the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked. The analysis demonstrates that remote work was growing before the crisis, has other trends that reinforce it and that employees and employers have strong non-health reasons to continue a robust level of its use. Moreover, remote work probably will have significant economic impacts on urban, suburban and rural communities long after the pandemic eases. It thrives best in the industries most dependent on creative/knowledge workers and a critical mass of them are now committed to remote working. Employers that refuse to oblige them are likely to have a more difficult time recruiting and retaining such highly skilled and much sought after workers, especially since they are already in short supply.
    Keywords: remote work, trends, trend breezes, open offices, broadband, creative workers, knowledge workers

  • Understanding the conceptual and procedural framework of urban infill development
    Amirreza Farshchin, Faculty member, Academic Centre for Education and Raziyeh Ramezani, Assistant Professor, Azad University North/University of Kharazmi

    Since the 1970s, various internal development strategies have been tried for tackling the problem of city sprawl that resulted from the Second World War. One remedy was infill development, a subsidiary of the smart growth approach. Based on an analytical-descriptive method and a study of theoretical and practical literature, this research aims to discover a conceptual framework for infill development, discuss the theoretical background which has shaped and developed the concept of infill development and, while reviewing the general process of infill development, explain the key procedural concepts (partnership, capacity assessment, phasing) within the context of analysing several case studies. As a conclusion, this paper offers two principles which are dominate in infill development and form the different stages of the infill process: ‘improvement’ and ‘contextualism’. In the context of sustainable development, environmental preservation and other relevant issues, understanding the procedural framework of an urban infill development approach can provide a new, systematic perspective for future urban development policy making.
    Keywords: infill development, procedure, internal development, smart growth, contextualism, improvement

  • The importance of studying human perception when designing high-rises and their surrounding environment: The case study of Amman city
    Bushra Zalloom, Associate Professor, Zarqa University

    In recent decades, the cityscape of Amman, the capital of Jordan, has been transformed, especially in terms of high-rise buildings, urban regeneration projects and shopping malls. This paper focuses on the design of high-rise buildings in Amman and explores how the areas surrounding the high-rises are designed and perceived by users. It tries to justify the reasons behind the rejection of these blocks by the citizens of Amman. It also discusses some of the outcomes of the high-density mixed-used (HDMU) strategy that was implemented by the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) in 2008 to organise the high-rises’ location and design. The paper proposes a set of design strategies for the outdoor spaces surrounding the high-rises to reduce their impact on the adjacent environment and make them more acceptable to the citizens, including strengthening the image of the landscape elements and weakening the visual effect of the buildings’ mass. To achieve the research’s aim, the paper describes how these masses emerged in Amman, followed by an analysis of the HDMU strategy’s strength and weakness. It further discusses human recognition as a tool that helps in humanising the outdoor spaces surrounding the high-rises, and finally, it assesses the current status of the high-rises in Amman based on recognition factors.
    Keywords: high-rises, urban regeneration, HDMU strategy, human perception, outdoor spaces

  • Determining the centre (City–CBD) and other subcentres in the city of Pristina
    Ibrahim Ramadani, Professor, Arsim Ejupi, Professor, Valbon Bytyqi, Assistant Professor and Ferim Gashi, Professor, University of Pristina

    This paper aims to find ways to determine the business area of Pristina (City–CDB) and the secondary centres for two neighbourhoods of the city as business areas are regarded as focal points of urban development and socioeconomic organisation in both neighbourhoods or cities in general. It is assumed that some parts of the city need to consolidate their subcentres, along with the reconstruction of some of the neighbourhoods, in order to fulfil their functions and provide the necessary infrastructure for high quality urban life. Authorities should pay particular attention to the application of the neighbourhood form and the implementation of this concept in spatial and regulatory plans, since these principles enable the development, management and rational use of the urban environment. Being complex organisational systems, cities require the causal interpretations of theories and planning laws with different planning parameters, leading towards the sustainable development of urban centres and the efficient use of urban areas. Appropriate urban planning, efficient land management, useful infrastructure, site protection and services are fundamental for suitable and sustainable housing within both urban expansion and urban densification. Development control and urban organisation help realise sustainable urban centres. They help to improve the living environment, increase land use efficiency, equitable land urban access and enhance neighbourhood characteristics and social wellbeing. This paper describes the functional organisation of Pristina and its urban evolution.
    Keywords: city, subcentre, regeneration, urban organisation, sustainable, nucleus

  • Coping with urban poverty: Housing transformation and home-based enterprises in poor residential neighbourhoods of Akure, Nigeria
    Hezekiah Adedayo Ayoola, Senior Lecturer and Alexander Adeyemi Fakere, Senior Lecturer, Federal University of Technology

    This paper investigates how spaces meant for residential purposes have been transformed for other uses, particularly home-based enterprises (HBEs). The paper shows that the houses in poor residential neighbourhoods provide residents with both home and workplace for livelihood. This is practised by the majority of people living in the core urban residential neighbourhoods in Akure, Nigeria. This paper attempts to identify different kinds of HBEs and analyses how spaces are used for other functions than they were initially designed to perform. Empirical data was sourced from four core residential neighbourhoods in Akure, Nigeria as a case study to examine how spaces for domestic purpose were used for commercial activities, the size and nature of HBEs. The study revealed that most households in the core residential neighbourhoods engage in one or more HBEs and many of the houses in the study area have witnessed significant transformation to allow for double functioning of the property.
    Keywords: home-based enterprises, housing transformation, poverty, residential neighbourhoods, urban poverty

  • Urban identity in the holy cities of Iraq: Analysis of architectural design trends in the city of Karbala
    Sabeeh Lafta Farhan, Assistant Professor and Vice Chancellor, Wasit University and Zuhair A. Nasar, Senior Lecturer, University of Kufa

    The issues associated with the urban identity of cities are particularly important in the context of historic holy cities, where the social and cultural changes of modernity have profound impacts on the urban transformation of traditional urban fabric and structure. This paper investigates trends of architectural design in the city of Karbala, one of the most important sacramental cities in Iraq as a site of two holy shrines (among other sites) for Shia Muslims. It first highlights urban identity in general and the urban identity in holy cities in particular, focusing on special characteristics of urban identity formation. Secondly, it explains the selection of the city of Karbala as a case study, due to its regional, social and historical role for Shias around the world. This study undertook original research by administering a questionnaire among local architects in Karbala, focused on the relationship between the architect as a designer and many concepts affecting the urban identity of the holy city. The methodology used to analyse the validity and consistency of the questionnaire was the Likert method. The research concludes that there is a weakness in the designer communication with the urban heritage of the holy city of Karbala in particular, and with Iraqi culture in general. Also, designers believe that the legacy is unable to fulfil contemporary requirements, as the process of communication between past and present is limited by only copying the elements and architectural forms from the past.
    Keywords: urban identity, holy cities, Karbala, urban heritage

  • Book review: Shaping a City: Ithaca, New York, A Developer’s Perspective
    Reviewed by William F. Ryan, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Book review: Language, Lies & Irrational Thinking. A Defence of Reason in an Unreasoning World
    Reviewed by Matthew Spencer, The Intensive Pali Course and Christian Latin Courses


Volume 14 Number 1

  • Editorial: Regeneration and the COVID-19 economy and society
    Andrew Tallon, Editor
  • Opinion piece: Volunteers in service to America: Warriors for the poor and victims of COVID-19
    David M. Feehan, President, Civitas Consultants

    The concept of voluntarism is ancient. But in the 1960s, poverty in the US and abroad was becoming more of a government concern. The US government established the Peace Corps, and then, in 1964, the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) programme. While Peace Corps volunteers served exclusively outside the US, VISTAs were assigned to domestic anti-poverty programmes. Both programmes live on today, VISTA under the broader federal AmeriCorps programme. VISTAs are now engaged in a different war — a struggle to save communities from the devastation of the COVID-19 virus. This paper suggests how an expanded VISTA programme could save both lives and jobs.
    Keywords: volunteers, COVID-19 virus, federal programmes, VISTA

  • Practice papers:
    Local government interventions to stimulate industrial area intensification and co-location: Industrial urbanism
    Judith Atkinson, Local Partnerships

    In response to ever-increasing volumes of online retail activity, pressure to provide space for urban service companies in our core cities continues to build. Successful high-density city living relies on a balanced supply of premises suitable and affordable to relatively unglamorous but essential operations, not least ‘last mile’ deliveries. There has been a sustained outmigration of occupiers from industrial zones close to urban centres, however, leaving this land at risk of redevelopment for higher-value activities. Many UK cities feature long-established industrial estates close to high-value city fringes that now look and feel incongruous as the surrounding urban context has transformed. Tensions are highest in London, where the Greater London Authority (GLA) has commissioned specialist research that can act both as an early warning and inspiration to others. The missing catalysts are early-adopter exemplar property developments that demonstrate the commercial viability of new mixed-use property typologies suited to these intensifying market challenges. This is a role only likely to be fulfilled by the public sector. To do so would demonstrate proactive place leadership. Local and regional authorities can analyse market failure in the supply of property formats required by identified growth sector enterprises. Value heat maps will identify areas of greatest market tension for priority interventions. Proactive business relocation plans should embrace council owned stock and be delivered in cooperation with neighbouring authorities within single economic markets. Specialist commercial property and architectural expertise will be needed to build financial models to test the investment case of new format projects. Action plans should critique alternative delivery mechanisms. This paper discusses industrial area estates and the role of local government.
    Keywords: city living, mixed use, planning policy, service occupiers, public sector

  • Overcoming obstacles to planning major infrastructure projects
    Duncan Field, Partner, Town Legal

    The planning system has an important role to play in delivering major infrastructure projects. The obstacles which a promoter of a project must overcome are inherent in any consenting system which is rooted in democratic participation and political accountability. To understand the nature of those obstacles and how they might be addressed requires an appreciation of the process that a project must navigate to secure consent and the influences on the decision maker at each stage of that process. This paper suggests that the prospects for the success of a major infrastructure project and the speed of decision are best served by focusing time and resource on four key areas: the need and justification for the project; policy support for the project; technical assessment; and external and internal communication. The paper explores the considerations which a promoter should address in each of these key areas and identifies three priorities for government in the way the infrastructure planning system is operated.
    Keywords: infrastructure, planning, promoter, need, policy, assessment, communication

  • The making of Meeniyan
    Stephen Sully, Development Professional, Planning by Design Pty

    This paper seeks to identify the key aspects of the evolution of Meeniyan town centre from 2000 through to February 2020. It explores particular events and activities that have occurred and highlights the groups and individuals who were responsible for initiation and implementation. The paper was prepared through analysis of information and studies and through a series of one-on-one interviews with members of the Meeniyan residential and business communities, from August 2019 through to February 2020.
    Keywords: Meeniyan, community leadership, quality, risk, passion, music, garlic

  • Research papers:
    Strategic demolition for shrinking and shrunken cities: A case study from Buffalo, NY, USA
    Jason Knight, Associate Professor, SUNY Buffalo State and Russell Weaver, Director of Research, Cornell ILR

    Shrinking cities are older urban settlements that played prominent roles in the industrial economies of developed nations, but have experienced substantial depopulation, economic contraction and undesirable physical change since at least the middle of the 20th century. To counter the problems that necessarily accompany massive depopulation, shrinking cities have aggressively used structural demolition as a right-sizing strategy. Right-sizing is both a policy objective and the set of strategies used to restructure the built environment of a shrinking city to meet its current needs, by aligning the supply of community assets (eg infrastructure, housing, services) with current and future demand. In practice, it appears that many shrinking cities equate right-sizing exclusively with large-scale demolition. The result is that demolition is implemented in a standalone fashion, which fails to meaningfully stem the tides of shrinkage and vacancy. This paper draws on a framework of strategic demolition for shrinking cities to analyse a well-publicised, ‘signature’ demolition programme in Buffalo, NY, USA. The critical analysis shows that Buffalo failed to take recommended actions that were within its reach, which likely contributed to perceptions that its signature programme was unsuccessful. The case study has several implications for planning and policy in shrinking cities.
    Keywords: shrinking cities, demolition, vacancy, abandonment, right-sizing, public policy

  • What explains the housing boomlet in the city of Philadelphia?
    John F. McDonald, Emeritus Professor, University of Illinois and Adjunct Professor, Temple University and Jeffrey N. Carroll, Assistant Professor, Chestnut Hill College

    Since 2003 a sizeable shift has occurred in the location of new housing units in the Pennsylvania portion of the Philadelphia metropolitan area, which consists of four suburban counties and Philadelphia County (the central city). The percentage of units located in the city of Philadelphia increased from an average of 4.6 per cent per year in the 1990s, to over 20 per cent during 2004–11, and to over 40 per cent starting in 2012. This paper stipulates that demand for new housing in the central city appears to be driven by the large increase in employment in the education and health services and, to a lesser extent, employment in business services. On the supply side, the city of Philadelphia facilitated housing supply in the central city by providing a ten-year abatement of property taxes for new housing and initiated the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative (NTI). NTI involved the sale of bonds to finance the demolition of abandoned structures and the assembly of land for development.
    Keywords: Center City housing, Philadelphia, urban revitalisation, development incentives, urban land reuse, property tax abatement

  • The impact of neighbourhood change on social sustainability: A case study of Jabal Al-Weibdeh
    Amal Abed, Associate Professor, Jordan University of Science and Technology

    A quick glance at neighbourhood development and progress behaviour reveals an obvious trend towards neighbourhood urbanisation. Therefore, much research has been developed to investigate this phenomenon. Only a few of these studies, however, have addressed the potentially negative impact of neighbourhood change on social sustainability and how to eliminate it. In this paper, a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between neighbourhood development and social sustainability will be investigated by exploring the changing characteristics of neighbourhoods. Understanding these changes required studying the neighbourhood’s transformation of population and built environment over ten years. This was achieved through tracking demographic transformation using statistical census, mapping changes of land use and exploring the impact of these changes on social sustainability by gathering data from residents through structured questionnaires. As a result, a negative impact of social sustainability for indigenous residents has been identified, especially the fear of becoming a neglected group associated with a high level of dissatisfaction, minimum communication and low level of social interaction between residents. Consequently, an equitable sustainable strategy is needed to ensure the neighbourhood’s stability, eliminate alterations and preserve social sustainability.
    Keywords: neighbourhood change, social sustainability, social transformation, residential mobility, demographic restructure

  • Assessment of urban renewal projects implementation and its socio-economic impacts in Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
    Adewale O. Yoade, Lecturer, Wesley University Ondo, Olabisi O. Adeyemi, Lecturer, Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti and Babawale A. Adeyemi, Lecturer, Adeyemi College of Education Ondo

    This paper describes a study to examine the influence of the urban renewal project and its socio-economic effects on the residents of Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. Primary and secondary data was used in the study. The primary data was collected through two sets of questionnaires administered to residents and town planners in the study area. A total number of 148 residents were surveyed. The findings showed that 58 per cent agreed that the scheme approaches are right while 42 per cent said the approaches are wrong, 15 per cent supported construction of new estate, 64 per cent demolition of old buildings, while 22 per cent supported establishment of agencies to monitor housing projects. The study established that urban renewal action is a task that must be pursued and accomplished to bring our substandard urban environments to the required standard reflective of our time. The renewed or regenerated cities would not only ensure harmonious, attractive and aesthetically pleasant environments but also enhance socio-economic development, safe, secure, healthy and quality urban life for both the present and future generations.
    Keywords: urban renewal, projects, socio-economic, physical characteristics, slum