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. Articles scheduled for Volume 16 are available to view on the 'Forthcoming content' page. 

The Articles published in Volume 16 include:

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