The word regeneration gets bandied around a lot nowadays, as do all the other ‘re’ words: rejuvenate, remodel, reset, redevelop, reuse, re-establish, recreate, restructure, refurbish… have I forgotten any?
Whatever word you want to use, I remain adamant that swathes of the UK’s urban environment are ripe for modernisation and investment.
For me, the key to future success is unlocking existing places in cities and towns rather than creating new ones.
My argument is that recycling urban areas is smarter given the scarcity of land in the UK and we need to conserve, not consume, limited resources.
Regeneration implies a lot of things: better connectivity, intensification of usage and the idea we should be focusing on redeveloping urban areas.
Ultimately, we need to change the way that we think about reusing existing urban space. Regeneration – or whichever re-related word pops into your vocabulary – works best when property and infrastructure projects are integrated into the existing built environment.
2010 photo of London Gateway regeneration project by Terry Joyce via Wikipedia.