Renewal is the action and result of renew (leave something as new, return it to its original state, replace something old with something new, restore what was interrupted). Urban, for its part, is what is associated with a town (an agglomeration of buildings and inhabitants that functions as an administrative unit and whose economy is based on non-agricultural activities).
It is known as urban renewal to the initiative or process you are looking for modify infrastructure and buildings of a town. This type of undertaking takes place when the city in question becomes ancient and it can no longer cope with the current demands of the population.
Urban renewal may include the removal of old buildings and the construction of new ones, or the remodeling and restoration of existing buildings. Let us suppose that in a town with low houses there is a notorious housing deficit due to the increase in population. To alleviate this problem, the authorities decide to develop an urban renewal and begin to build large towers so that people have access to the living place.
The creation of green spaces it can also be part of urban renewal. In a neighborhood where dozens of skyscrapers have been built in the last decade, squares and parks may be needed to improve the quality of the environment and to offer recreation spaces to neighbors.
The creation of new streets, the widening of avenues and the installation of luminaires are other decisions that can be part of a draft of urban renewal.
Urban renewal dates from the early days of industrial city, which arose as a consequence of the industrial revolution and was characterized, in part, by the increase in its population, the appearance of public means of transport, the extension of the city by means of roads communication, the replacement of the old walls by the boulevards and, not least, the creation of the elevator, which allowed the construction of taller buildings.
Much of the middle cities of the West went through some kind of sanitation or rehabilitation work of its working-class neighborhoods throughout the nineteenth century, and in all cases one of the most important points was the decision to tear down the ramparts. On the other hand, communication axes were also opened and the streets were widened to give way to wide avenues that facilitated the transit of pedestrians and carriages.
The scope of urban renewal should not be underestimated, reducing it to a mere facelift of a city focused on aesthetic issues. On the contrary, this complex operation that began a few centuries ago was part of well-defined strategies that aimed to the revaluation of entire neighborhoods and resulted in a economic activation and various aspects of the social development.
Currently, urban renewal usually takes place in urban centers, since it is there where the oldest neighborhoods are located and less prepared to face the social and economic demands of the times. It is important to note that the budget necessary for an action of this type is considerable and that the investment is not always recovered.
A phenomenon that the public administration must take into account when dedicating its efforts to urban renewal is the “contagion effect”, which describes the ambivalence of two neighboring real estate properties regarding their value: if one is kept in perfect condition but the other deteriorates, the latter negatively affects the former, while if both are maintained they mutually benefit.