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Urban Regeneration

Game-Changing Renewals

Described as a long-term process that involves the revitalisation of urban areas that have fallen into a state of decline, Urban Regeneration is a process that encompasses physical, social and economic changes. Over the coming pages, we take a look at a selection of projects from around the world that highlight the importance of this concept and what it can bring to its surrounding areas.

According to Lendlease, Urban Regeneration is about revitalising urban spaces and understanding what makes cities truly great. Such projects typically involve large-scale, mixed-used redevelopments (including apartments, workplaces, retail and public spaces) of inner-urban locations. The key is to transform areas by repurposing existing infrastructure, to deliver something that’s special and tailor-made for the diverse communities that live within them.

Another article by TEDxBrayford Pool entitled ‘Urban regeneration: Creating the cities of the future’ highlights that Urban Regeneration aims to create liveable, sustainable, and resilient cities. It is a process that seeks to address the challenges facing urban areas, such as urban decay, social inequality, and environmental degradation. Urban Regeneration can help to create vibrant, healthy, and prosperous urban environments, where people want to live, work and play.

The article continues by saying that the concept is vital for building new and upcoming destinations that address those physical, social and economic challenges faced by urban areas. It can help to create sustainable and resilient cities that are able to cope with the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

Read on to learn more about these projects in action…

Urban Regeneration Around the World

Enhancing Montreal’s iconic and ever-evolving composition with a ground-breaking approach to how people work, learn, play and live. The largest private development in Quebec, Royalmount is a densified, mixed-use project, with massive greening, public transit access and a focus on active mobility. It will be a neighbourhood reimagined and a world-class midtown in the heart of Montreal. Under construction by developers Carbonleo and set to open this summer, Royalmount is one of the only 100 per cent carbon-neutral mixed-use developments in Canada and will be a never-before-seen living environment where connectivity, creativity, sustainability and technology thrive. Royalmount aims to bring the best brands, experiences, and offerings to Quebec. The first phase will consist of an 824,000sq ft indoor and outdoor, two-level retail and lifestyle complex. It will feature retailers, restaurants, experiential attractions, an elevated linear park as well as a 1.8ha urban park. Recently a dozen new retailers have been announced at the scheme and these are Zara, Nike, Moncler, Longchamp, Anine Bing, Mango, H&M, Alo Yoga, Veronica Beard, Canada Goose, Sephora and Roche Bobois.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) and its co-developer, Mill Creek Residential (MCR), have revealed that when complete, Paramus will have a new town centre that will serve as a hub for the community, with residences and green space complementing the mall’s existing retail, dining and entertainment options. Anticipated to break ground in late 2024 and slated to open to residents in 2027, the first phase of the development at Westfield Garden State Plaza includes the construction of 550 luxury apartment homes that will further enhance one of the top performing malls in the US. The apartments will be integrated with the shopping centre via a one-acre town green for residents, visitors and shoppers to enjoy and will also introduce a main street outdoor district featuring restaurants and everyday conveniences and services. The development will also include significant community and sustainability features such as new parks and greenspaces, green building construction, upgraded connectivity to public transportation networks, electric vehicle charging stations and the restoration of a section of the beloved local Sprout Brook.

The C Future City, developed by the Centralcon Group, is a TOD mixed-use urban complex spread over 1.2 million square metres and comprised of retail, office, hotels and residential development and it is one of the largest urban regeneration projects in Shenzhen. Its first phase, which comprised of two, 300m twin towers, a shopping mall and serviced apartments, was officially opened in December 2022. Its second phase, which comprises of retail, cultural and residential development, is still under construction. The much talked about project, which was designed and masterplanned by Aedas, integrates futuristic design with art, nature and new technology, is becoming a new iconic destination for the young and creative people in Shenzhen as it sets up a new model for future cities.

Urban Regeneration 1

One Bangkok is an ambitious and transformative project that aims to redefine the urban landscape of Thailand’s capital city. As the country’s largest integrated development, One Bangkok is set to become a new icon on Bangkok’s skyline, blending state-of-the-art architecture, sustainable design and innovative urban planning. One Bangkok will deliver 1.83 million square meters of integrated mixed-use development on a 16 hectare site in the heart of Bangkok. Located adjacent to the city’s iconic Lumphini Park, One Bangkok will comprise premium grade-A office buildings, luxury and lifestyle hotels, luxury residential towers, interconnected retail precincts, art and cultural hubs and public space. The development is expected to accommodate up to 200,000 people daily following its full completion in 2026 and it is under development by Frasers Property. The development, which opened its first elements in March this year, will feature eight hectares of green and open spaces, with architecture and tropical planting seamlessly intertwined to establish a tranquil setting in a vertical environment.

Global real estate company Hines has revealed plans to build and operate a 74-storey mixed-use tower in Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city. Called the Global Quantum Complex, the $1bn project will house the nation’s first quantum computing R&D hub, as well as next-generation offices and space for education, retail and residential offerings. The development in Busan’s Haeun-dae district will span more than 180,000sq m and will be one of South Korea’s five tallest towers upon completion. Architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is designing the project as a “vertical city” which is expected to generate $3.6bn in economic value and create 18,000 jobs in and around Busan. Construction of the Global Quantum Complex will begin in 2024 and complete in 2027, with the finished structure incorporating sustainability features to comply with South Korea’s 2030 carbon reduction goals.

Urban Regeneration 2

The only permanent site built for the 2024 Games in central Paris is set to anchor urban regeneration efforts in the northern Porte de La Chapelle neighbourhood. After the conclusion of the Olympics this year, the Arena at Porte de la Chapelle will remain and the sports complex sits on the northernmost edge of Paris. The recently unveiled Arena complex (back in February), with its sleek silver façade and Adidas branding, is the most conspicuous sign of a neighbourhood in flux. It is now home to the city’s nascent basketball club and will host badminton and rhythmic gymnastics events during this year’s Olympics. After the delegations and tourists leave in August, it will serve as a test of the city’s promise of urban renewal with managed gentrification.

Urban Regeneration 3

Currently under construction by developers Apsys Group and with an estimated opening date of September this year, the Neyrpic scheme is located in the town of Saint-Martin-d’Hères opposite the Town Hall, a few minutes from downtown Grenoble and is part of a vast urban renewal project. Neyrpic aims to provide the municipality with attractive living, leisure and sharing spaces and to contribute to its economic development, in respect for the major metropolitan balances, the history of old factories and the requirements of the ecological transition. Designed as an energetic, multi-functional place where commerce, leisure, sport and nature will be inextricably linked. The heart of the project is an external square with spacious terraces – places for relaxation and fun. A place designed and implemented in accordance with the idea of sustainable development, respecting the character of the place and offering added value to the city’s residents.

Urban Regeneration 4

The largest city-centre project in Europe, Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier is set to become a new urban community hotspot in Germany. Encompassing a unique culture, leisure, entertainment and dining offer, it will feature a 10-screen flagship cinema, beauty and wellness centres, international and local restaurants, bars and cafés and the latest trends in entertainment technology. This mixed-use urban district will feature flexible offices with 360° views over HafenCity and the harbour, modern apartments with direct access to the waterfront, three hotels and a 200-store shopping centre offering the best local and international brands together with a wide range of services and digital innovations, for an enhanced customer journey. The shopping centre itself will span 80,500sq m of retail, leisure and restaurant space and it is set to open in August 2024 by developers Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. The scheme will expand the Hamburg City metropolitan area by 40 per cent and the proportion of public and publicly accessible private open spaces is 38 per cent.

Urban Regeneration 5

Dubbed as Europe’s greatest urban regeneration project, the upcoming scheme entitled The Ellinikon will connect the heart of Athens with its glorious coastline. The Ellinikon is a groundbreaking urban redevelopment initiative located on the historic grounds of the former Ellinikon International Airport in Athens. Committed to redefining the urban landscape, the developer LAMDA Development will blend innovation, sustainability and culture to create a vibrant, forward-thinking community. Their vision is to revitalize this iconic site into a dynamic hub that integrates modern living, green spaces, and cutting-edge technology. By preserving heritage while embracing progress, The Ellinikon aims to set a new standard for sustainable urban development, offering a bright and prosperous future for residents and visitors alike and most of the first phase developments will be completed and open to the public by the end of 2025.

On 13 April last year, the first phase of To Dream by developer Nhood was inaugurated, becoming the largest Urban District in Piedmont, born from an innovative concept in line with Romania Sviluppo’s mission. To Dream has been developed in Turin, on a total area of 270,000sq m, including an open shopping centre and a parking lot, in a strategic position, an unprecedented concept of integration between shopping, leisure, services, offices and hospitality. A refined design, an offer of 107 activities including 24 restaurants, among which major brands and firsts in Italy have landed along with a vast entertainment area, an eight-screen cinema, a gym, numerous services and a four-star hotel, as well as the new headquarters of Michelin, not to mention the go-kart track, one of the longest in Europe, built on three levels. All of this has been combined in an urban park that makes To Dream a real attraction for all targets.

Urban Regeneration 6

A new project by developer British Land, Canada Water is set to be the first new town centre in London in 50 years: a truly mixed-use new urban centre, built for the future. Over the next twelve years, the 53 acre masterplan will deliver a new high street and town square. Up to 3,000 new net zero carbon homes and two million square feet of workspace accommodating 20,000 workers. A new leisure centre, with swimming pools, sports courts and gym will be included and 35 per cent of the masterplan will be public open space – that’s 16 extra acres of parks and places to pause and relax. In addition, over 650,000sq ft of space will be dedicated to retail and leisure space, with a new high street and town square. The project is set to not only preserve, but enhance all of the local history, character and biodiversity that are already here, it is the UK’s most sustainable regeneration scheme.

Urban Regeneration 7

An upcoming project by Developer Emaar Properties is their new Dubai Square scheme which is set to become one of the world’s most advanced developments, using AI for the design, construction and creating ‘unique’ personalised customer experiences. According to Emaar, Dubai Square is a residential, hospitality and retail city that will boast 10,000 residential units, over 1,500 hotel rooms and a retail district that is approximately the size of The Dubai Mall. Dubai Square will be facing the iconic Dubai Creek Tower and the Dubai Creek Plaza. The projects will be connected through a cutting-edge underground extension. The new development is heavily focused on family entertainment, with free live shows at the futuristic Grand Plaza. A dedicated art district, technologically enhanced Ice Adventure and a rooftop waterpark are also planned. Emaar is planning to complete both the new landmark Creek Tower and the Dubai Square project at the same time in 2027. Dubai Square is part of an ultra-modern and elegant urban project, Dubai Creek Harbour, on the banks of the historic Dubai Creek. Its design features pedestrian-friendly streets and encompasses 7.4 million square meters of residential space and 500,000sq m of gardens and open areas.

Unlike Saudi’s other giga-projects, ROSHN is delivering new urban communities across the Kingdom. Backed by the PIF, the real estate developer is creating communities through its projects, which to date include the launch of five projects in three regions: SEDRA and WAREFA in Riyadh, MARAFY and ALAROUS in Jeddah and ALFULWA in Al Hofuf. These schemes will feature pedestrian-friendly ‘living streets’, green spaces and retail and entertainment outlets, as well as hospitals, medical centres, mosques and sports facilities. Having been established in 2019 by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund (PIF), ROSHN specialises in developing integrated urban neighbourhoods featuring residential communities with modern standards across the Kingdom. Soon after launching in November 2020, the real estate giant unveiled its first project, which is what is known today as SEDRA. Spread across 20sq km, the scheme comprises more than 30,000 homes and is an integral part of ROSHN’s 10-year mandate to develop communities across the Kingdom.

Urban Regeneration 8

Marjan, the master developer of freehold properties in Ras Al Khaimah, has today unveiled RAK Central, its latest mixed-use destination, which will feature a Grade-A office and commercial district that is set to open in 2026, helping to drive business and tourism development, unlock job opportunities and redefine lifestyle in the Emirate. Upon completion of all phases of the mega-development, RAK Central will create a vibrant work, live and play destination that will contribute to RAK Vision 2030, driving a prosperous and diversified economy, building happy and cohesive communities, securing a sustainable future and safeguarding the environment by following advanced green building strategies. Upon completion, RAK Central will offer three million square feet of rentable office space, more than 4,000 residential apartments, three hotels with a capacity surpassing 1,000 keys, multiple parks and green spaces, various retail and entertainment facilities and several interconnected buildings with over 1,000 parking spaces for visitors. Construction work is scheduled to begin in 2024, with the first phase of the infrastructure and the main business complex expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2026.

Urban Regeneration 9

Tatu City is a 5,000-acre, mixed-use development in Kenya by developer Rendeavour with homes, schools, offices, a shopping district, medical clinics, nature areas, a sport & entertainment complex and manufacturing area for more than 150,000 residents and tens of thousands of day visitors. The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has given Strategic Environment Assessment approval to the second phase of Tatu City, as the new city expands to meet demand for businesses, homes and social amenities. The approval from NEMA paves the way for Tatu City to develop on its 2,500-acre second phase. The city’s first phase, also 2,500 acres, has more than 50 businesses operating or developing, two schools open educating 3,000 students daily and more than 5,000 homes delivered or under construction.