Urban Renewal Plans? Look to the Private Sector
The report, released during the recent World Cities Summit in Singapore, emphasizes that urban renewal rarely succeeds when spearheaded only by the public sector.
The 423-page report, Regenerating Urban Land, a Practicioner’s Guide to Leveraging Private Investment, spotlights restoration efforts in eight cities around the globe. Buenos Aires tapped the private sector to develop a neglected historic waterfront district. Ahmedabad resettled slum dwellers and spruced up a riverbank by creating a development corporation to reclaim land. Johannesburg, Santiago, Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai, and Washington D. C. also are profiled.
“Urban regeneration projects are by nature complex and hard to finance,” the report says, emphasizing that the private sector can help bridge any funding gap. Businesses and investors sometimes view urban renewal projects as too risky. To secure their involvement, cities are encouraged to offer incentives — such as tax breaks and streamlined regulations — and keep plans flexible.