Building A Better Future

Urban Regeneration is the attempt to improve urban decay in cities. It is all about the creation of sprawling mixed-used developments and opportunity for higher-class housing, businesses and more. RLI takes a look at a selection of global projects that highlight the capabilities of urban regeneration around the world.

The concept of urban regeneration is a very wide ranging term that can apply to a broad spectrum of situations. It essentially covers the reconstruction of built up areas, especially where there is evidence of urban decay. Urban regeneration began in the late 19th century and went through a phase of considerable acceleration in the 1940s. It’s something that every country tackles continuously.


According to the RG Group, land regeneration in cities is the fundamental driving force behind urban regeneration. Programmes focusing on this type of reconstruction usually involve taking an area into the ownership of a redevelopment authority, which then selects developers to reconstitute the land for other purposes. While this describes the basic mechanics of urban regeneration, the ideas behind it, as well as the motivation and the detail, can be very different from one location to another.

Critically, the purpose of regeneration is to deliver a long-lasting solution in the form of sustainable new communities. This often means looking at the needs and challenges of a location and its economy, and consulting with all stakeholders involved to establish current and potential issues. The end result should be a project that delivers on an economic level but is also tailored to serving the local community.

WATERBANK – Perth, Australia

The Well is a new, open and vibrant mixed-use community in downtown Toronto where people can live, work, and shop well. Spread over seven and a half acres, The Well borders Wellington, Spadina and Front Streets. Visitors, employees and residents will be drawn to its robust retail mix, dynamic amenities, premium office space, entertainment and cultural events. The Well will become a gathering place, reflecting the heart and soul of Toronto, inspiring and improving the quality of life. RioCan and Allied share a vision for The Well and they believed that working well is how important things get done.

Meanwhile in the US, Hudson Yards is New York’s newest neighbourhood and home to more than 100 diverse shops and culinary experiences, offices for leaders in industry, significant public art and dynamic cultural institutions including The Shed, modern residences, 14 acres of public plazas, gardens and groves and the world’s first Equinox Hotel®. Hudson Yards has become the cultural centre of Manhattan’s New West Side. A template for the future of cities, this new neighbourhood has not only changed the way New York looks to the world, but the way the world sees New York.

The upcoming Suzhou Chiway Jinji Lakes mixed-use redevelopment will consist of two sites, East and West. The project combines complex urban design by Aedas and environmental solutions to create a new community for 600,000 residents and multinational corporate facilities. Special emphasis was placed on the urban design and architectural interface to establish the image and character of the parks and open space system. Plan components include a large ceremonial plaza and mixed-use development adjacent to the central business district and a linear waterfront promenade on the west shore. The south shore features a historic fishing pier, a neighbourhood shopping district around a manmade cove, and a Sustainability Education Center with wetland gardens.

The Well. Toronto
THE WELL – Toronto, Canada

Located at Jimei district in Xiamen, Jimei Paradise Walk will be a new typologies of commercial complex amalgamating Boutique Retail, Cultural and Eventful co-working spaces, innovative soho office and loft apartments for Creative Startup. The site is directly linked to a green lawn at the north Site, aim to act as an urban connector in the neighbourhood, not only providing a greenery breathing space, but ultimately an eventful gathering space for cultural and creative youth. The design concept by LWK & Partners is metaphorically inspired by the grace and the simplicity of Egret, City Bird of Xiamen. The design responds to the project’s surroundings through the provision of a vibrant retail streetscape and the careful articulation of the office tower position. The latter ensures that surrounding residential property will not be adversely shaded, and maximises its iconic presence on the Xiamen Jimei Coastal line.

A new Perth address is coming from developers Lendlease. Situated at the eastern entry to the CBD, Waterbank will be a unique place which offers interaction with the Swan River, riverfront retail, water-based community facilities and home to lifestyle-oriented residents and office workers. Waterbank is urban, Waterbank is natural. The vision for Waterbank is to create a new wellbeing precinct: a social place that reflects the cosmopolitan Perth of today. Relaxed, accessible, tactile and distinctly Western Australian in its design and identity, Waterbank balances its urban character with a strong connection to nature.

Minsk World, Belarus developer Dana Holdings (1)
Minsk World – Minsk, Belarus

Opening in March next year, Commercial Bay is set to become the most transformational project Auckland has ever seen. Owned and under development by NZX listed Precinct Properties, the Commercial Bay project will completely reshape the waterfront area bounded by Britomart, the Viaduct and the CBD, along with resurrecting the location’s original name. At the heart of the scheme will be a stunning new 39 level office tower that will transform Auckland’s skyline. The project will also feature 18,000sq m of retail space that will highlight Commercial Bay’s position as the largest mixed-use development in Auckland.

The Minsk World complex by Dana Holdings Company will strengthen the growing role of Belarus, as a bridge between Europe and dynamically developing economies of Russia, Eastern and Asian countries. It acts as a catalyst for sustainable Minsk development and Belarusian, Russian and the Eurasian Economic Union economics. Minsk World with its modern boulevards, running along the main residential areas, comprising walkways and cycling tracks, as well as equipped playgrounds, is going to become the great place for promenades and recreation for both residents and visitors of Minsk.

Relaxing in a wellness centre, watching a movie in a new cinema complex, attending a concert or a show in a modern concert hall with 3,000 seats, eating and drinking in 50 innovative cafés and restaurants or experiencing attractions new to Belgium, this is Uplace. The project offers an open air shopping with a choice of 270 experience shops. Uplace is not a shopping centre, they are not an office complex, they are not a cultural centre. They are instead everything in one.

The Bjørvika development project is the biggest city development project Norway has ever seen. Over 20,000 people will work in Bjørvika and 10,000 people will live here. Oslo S Utvikling (OSU) is developing 380,000sq m of the total 900,000sq m. The company was established in 2001, and is owned by Entra ASA, Linstow AS and Bane Nor Eiendom AS. OSU’s vision is to develop Bjørvika to become Norway’s most attractive district.

Commercial Bay, Auckland
Commercial Bay – Auckland, New Zealand

Delivering a modern 71,000sq m community hub for Moscow Region, Kashirskaya Plaza by developer ENKA TC features a complex of public amenities, conveniently blending retail, fitness, cinema, entertainment, F&B and hypermarket areas. The project aims at creation of a pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood destination that celebrates its existing natural surroundings of waterfronts and landscape. Organic elements are drawn into the project to create a place of comfort and leisure, locally inspired and linked to its environment. The site is easily accessible, is connected with local parks, and has vibrantly visible public spaces ensuring abundant activity and interaction within the project.

Edinburgh St James in Scotland in the UK by Nuveen Real Estate will be a world renowned, retail-led, mixed-use destination for the future. Boasting a world-class retail, leisure, hotel and residential offer and injecting over £1bn of investment into the city, the scheme will strengthen Edinburgh’s global standing by transforming the city’s east end, becoming an inspiring, attractive and vibrant destination for people to live, shop, experience and play. The project will offer 850,000sq ft of prime retail, food and leisure space and offer 21 per cent of Edinburgh’s retail offer.

Being developed by Oldrids & Downtown in partnership with Grantham, Downtown Grantham Designer Outlet will be a £125M designer outlet centre which will create more than 1,700 jobs. The new centre will feature 107 shops over 220,425sq ft and the garden centre of the future when it opens in 2021.

Reem Mall
Reem Mall

Currently under construction by Indigo Property, Tunis Garden City is a concept that imagines a district that is well connected to the rest of the city, yet combines the essential components of a self-contained community, thus making Tunis City Garden as a ‘city within a city’. The new city of Tunis will be served by a number of facilities including office and residential buildings, a museum, an entertainment and leisure, a hotel/service apartments and retail components. However it is the retail and leisure offering, situated at the heart of the community, which makes this development exceptionally unique.

Meydan One has been envisioned as “A Place for Everyone”. The development is strategically positioned within the heart of Mohammed Bin Rashid City, and offers excellent accessibility via automobile, public transport, water taxi, and internal transit systems. Paths, specifically for jogging and cycling, have been integrated within Meydan One as well as a boardwalk which runs along the continuous Meydan One water canal. Meydan One will be home to a population of 78,000 residents, approximately a quarter of the entire Mohammed Bin Rashid City population that will include 310,000 residents. Encompassed within the Meydan One development will be Meydan One Mall, a pioneering destination that brings together an immersive community experience through world-class design, entrepreneurship and technology. The mall will feature over 550 retail outlets including a 13,200sq m hypermarket, 190 food and beverage outlets and a 21-screen cinema.

Jimei Paraside Walk – Xiamen, China