Urban Regeneration Practice: 'Eco-City' - Essay Example

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Urban Regeneration Practice: 'Eco-City'
During the 1980s and the 1990s, the term ‘ecocity’ remained as a concept pertaining to ideas of sustainable urban planning, transportation, housing, public participation and social justice…
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Urban Regeneration Practice: Eco-City
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Download file to see previous pages The term ‘ecocity’ builds on the dynamics and interdependence of ecological and economic sustainability and their key ability to reinforce each other in the urban context. “Innovative cities in both the developed and the developing world have demonstrated that with the appropriate strategic approach they can economically enhance their resource efficiency” (World Bank 2010: 2). Urban regeneration is based on the concept that the same value can be realised from a much smaller and renewable resource base, while reducing harmful pollution and wastage of renewable and nonrenewable resources. Thus urban regeneration has helped to improve the quality of life of citizens, increased their economic competitiveness and resilience, reinforced their financial capacity, and created an enduring culture of sustainability. Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to examine urban regeneration practice leading to the development of the new phenomenon of ‘ecocity’. Urban Regeneration and Sustainability A prime focus of urban regeneration today in the United Kingdom is on providing adequate housing supply for the population. This is due to increasing shortages of housing based on their greater demand, leading to soaring house prices. Instead of turning the countryside into urban areas “with sprawling new developments, existing cities are seen as the ideal places in which to solve housing shortages by bringing derelict land back into use” (Jones & Evans 2008: 161). Building long-term sustainability through area-based interventions, and capacity building through neighbourhood management and sustainable development form the key to urban regeneration. Regeneration policy takes several aspects into consideration. Urban problems are multidimensional, including poverty, crime, physical decay and economic stagnation. Cities are dynamic and constantly changing. There can be no final target to urban regeneration policy because it is an ongoing process with changes in the urban environment. Further, there are continued shifts in the nature and perception of urban problems and their solutions with political changes (Carley & Kirk 1998). According to Jones and Evans (2008), there is mainstreaming of initiatives through Public Service Agreements, Local Strategic Partnerships and Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy, along with devolution of powers to the local level such as Business Improvement Districts through Public Service Agreements, and Local Strategic Partnerships. Urban regeneration policy has increased in scope, becoming more holistic. This is due to recognising the limitations of a mainly physical approach to solving urban problems that are rooted in “complex social and economic processes” (Shaw & Robinson 2010: 125). Contrastingly, Dixon, Otsuka and Abe (2010) state that there is a shift from holistic regeneration to focusing on economics and employment, using Local Enterprise Partnerships and Regional Growth Fund. Recent practice in delivering regeneration include property development, city-center approaches, 60 percent of new house building on Brownfield sites, community planning through combining social, economic and physical requirements, zoning based approaches to neighbourhood management, and partnerships between public, private and voluntary organizations. Recent evaluations of New ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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