Urban Revitalisation And City Liveability

30 Mar 2015

Cities such as Brisbane and Adelaide have benefited greatly from revitalisation.

Urban regeneration has brought residential occupation back into each city’s respective central business district. The increased density has benefits that range from accessibility and sustainability to community and liveability.

 urban revitalisation


Walkability Accessibility And Liveability

The diverse use of buildings for residential, office, and retail purposes creates a cross flow of daily activity. This sort of mixed use provides a synergy of businesses and community that drives economic activity, which in turn, feeds back into the culture of the local environment.

In urban environments residents should have the ability to commute to work on foot or by public transport. There are local businesses within walking distance from home that provide eating out and shopping opportunities, as well as the ability to gather socially and connect with neighbours.

Digital media has had the impact of creating more densely connected communities that would not have been possible in previous epochs. It provides an avenue for local businesses to market services with low overhead cost. The so-called disruptive solutions that we have seen recently in the way that Uber drivers disrupt taxi services. Social media connections have enabled small businesses to compete from within communities through digital marketing.


Diversity Of Social Status

Established residents have often been reluctant to accept new community members. Fearing that affluent newcomers will threaten to drive up costs of living and compete for scarce resources. When low-income communities have often suffered from a lack of shopping options, revitalisation has tended to increase liveability by bringing in more shopping choices.

Resources available in low-income communities often provide a limited range of provision for example, a lack of fresh vegetables. Additionally small convenience shops tend to charge higher prices. So, in theory at least, revitalisation of inner city areas should benefit from an inflow of higher income residents through the resources that follow them.


Entrepreneurial Options That Support Liveability

To support a mature community, which may have had high urban densities for a century or more, the choice for planners may appear to be between repurposing existing buildings and wholesale demolition followed by redevelopment. This latter option is directly in conflict wit the increasing imperative to provide sustainability and low impact solutions.

The challenge here is to make new forms of occupation compatible with existing building structures, not always an easy task. However this provides a role for local entrepreneurs; corporate planners and developers may not be able to see the potential of a small space that can be brought back to life by locally focused entrepreneurs.


Creating Quality Of Life

Revitalisation combined with the inflow of affluent residents can help to bring an urban community back to life. There will often be resistance born out of the fears of change. However, efforts in urban regeneration in the last twenty-five years have yielded many successes.

The keys have repeatedly been demonstrated to be diversity, accessibility and sustainability. When any community is vital and vibrant it creates liveability and quality of life. This positive environment attracts further development and provides opportunities to contribute, both through building design and more generally just by being there.

Staff Contribution | Thought Leadership

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