• Research article
  • Open access
  • Published: 22 March 2024

Assessing the socio-cultural impact of urban revitalisation using Relative Positive Impact Index (RPII)

  • Shahim Abdurahiman   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-8966-4756 1 ,
  • A. K. Kasthurba   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-6160-4068 1 &
  • Afifa Nuzhat   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-8783-0813 2  

Built Heritage volume  8 , Article number:  8 ( 2024 ) Cite this article

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Urban heritage is a vital resource that connects communities to their local identity. Unplanned developments and rapid urbanisation often harm the authenticity of historic areas, disrupting the cultural fabric and altering their character. This study introduces the Relative Positive Impact Index (RPII), a novel technique for assessing the socio-cultural impacts of urban revitalisation. The significance of RPII lies in its ability to quantitatively evaluate the impacts on the cultural fabric and integrity of historic urban areas, which is crucial for sustainable urban development. The study’s objective is to apply RPII in evaluating qualitative socio-cultural characteristics in historic urban areas, with a focus on four main criteria and 16 sub-criteria, in the case of the Kuttichira precinct. The methodology integrates the analysis of published literature, a quantitative survey mapping the stakeholders’ perception, and qualitative insights. This approach facilitates an in-depth understanding of how urban revitalisation affects local socio-cultural dynamics, preserving the authenticity and character of historic areas. The study reveals that the revitalisation project in Kuttichira positively impacts the socio-cultural fabric of the area, maintaining cultural integrity and addressing social challenges. These findings offer valuable insights for sustainable urban development and policymaking in historic areas. The study recommends the application of RPII in other urban precincts for comparative analysis and further development of urban development practices, contributing to informed urban policy and planning decisions.

1 Introduction

Preserving cultural heritage assets in historic urban areas is crucial as they embody valuable knowledge systems and cultural values (UNESCO 2011 ). These assets can connect individuals with their past, foster community understanding, improve quality of life, and contribute to social, economic, and sustainable development goals (Figueiredo 2014 ; Zancheti and Hidaka 2011 ). Despite being subject to continuous alterations to accommodate changing demands, these urban spaces serve as a historical record (Abdurahiman and Kasthurba 2022 ; Labadi and Logan 2016 ; Udeaja et al. 2020 ). However, the perception of these heritage sites in developing countries, such as India, is often negative, as they are seen as an obstacle to progress and change rather than being recognised as valuable resources for future generations (Steinberg 1996 ; Udeaja et al. 2020 ). Heritage conservation is frequently focused on protecting assets in isolation without considering the potential benefits of incorporating them into the urban environment and community, resulting in neglect and a lack of community involvement (Qu et al. 2023 ; Vukmirović and Nikolić, 2023 ). Recent discussions in urban development and spatial planning increasingly recognise the importance of integrating heritage conservation in a sensitive manner (Tarrafa Silva et al. 2023 ). Revitalisation, which utilises heritage assets as development resources while preserving the historic built environment, is seen as a sustainable approach to urban conservation. Revitalisation projects aim to upgrade infrastructure, improve social and cultural conditions, enhance the quality of life, and address social issues (Abdurahiman et al. 2022a , b ; Grazuleviciute-Vileniske and Urbonas 2014 ; Licciardi and Amirtahmasebi 2011 ; Serageldin 1999 ). The involvement of the community and public perception is critical to the success of revitalisation efforts. However, most studies in this field are focused on the physical transformation of the built form or landscape rather than the perceptions of the community. This study addresses this gap by presenting the revitalisation project at the Kuttichira tank precinct in Kozhikode City, India and analysing stakeholders’ perceptions. The goal is to demonstrate the value of understanding community perception when revitalising historic urban areas.

In India’s urban regeneration context, a significant challenge is assessing revitalisation projects’ impacts on the socio-cultural fabric of historic urban precincts. Traditional methods like Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA), Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) often overlook the subtle socio-cultural dynamics changes (Glasson and Wood 2009 ). Current urban regeneration efforts predominantly focus on physical and economic dimensions, frequently neglecting socio-cultural aspects crucial for community identity and heritage preservation. The study proposes using the Relative Positive Impact Index (RPII) technique to comprehensively analyse impacts on historic urban fabric, thereby gauging the effectiveness of revitalisation efforts. This method offers a more nuanced understanding than approaches like the Triple Bottom Line (Rahman et al  2019 ), which might not fully capture the intricate socio-cultural elements. Similarly, models focusing on physical infrastructure or environmental sustainability may overlook the intangible cultural heritage and social structures that are integral to urban life in India. RPII allows for evaluating the overall success and identifying areas for improvement in urban regeneration projects.

This study advances the initial research which focused on public perceptions of urban heritage’s impact on Kuttichira’s social well-being (Abdurahiman et al. 2022a , b ), conducted at the outset of the Kuttichira urban revitalisation project. With the project’s completion, the objective now is to assess its concrete impact on the socio-cultural fabric of the precinct. Building on the earlier work, this current research refines the socio-cultural aspect framework and aims to evaluate the effects of the completed revitalisation on the socio-cultural dimensions of the Kuttichira precinct.

1.1 Urban revitalisation as a sustainable urban regeneration approach

Urban revitalisation in historic areas encompasses both place-focused and people-focused approaches, aiming to enhance urban quality and address community needs respectively. This process, variably termed as regeneration, rehabilitation, refurbishment, renewal, or redevelopment, involves infrastructure upgrades, urban amenities enhancement, and streetscape improvements. A key goal is to revive the urban core by restoring commercial activity and environmental quality (Rosly and Rashid 2013 ). Sustainable urban regeneration integrates social, economic, environmental, and cultural aspects, going beyond physical improvements to prioritise community needs, heritage preservation, and unique urban experiences. Some revitalisation projects tend to prioritise attracting upper classes and tourists over valuing heritage assets or benefiting the community (Abdurahiman et al  2023 ). Revitalisation proposals significantly shape urban spaces’ unique character (Tarrafa Silva et al. 2023 ). Public understanding and awareness of local heritage’s role in urban enhancement are often limited (Greffe 2004 ). The Faro Convention of 2005 advocates for cultural heritage preservation tailored to national standards, emphasising the meanings and values people assign to heritage (Fojut 2018 ). It also highlights the importance of public participation in heritage management. Understanding public perceptions is crucial for effective heritage preservation and management (Aas et al.  2005 ; Abdurahiman et al. 2022a , b ). Dowler et al. ( 2006 ) define public perceptions as collective views from structured surveys (Dowler et al. 2006 ). Involving the public contributes to developing context-specific solutions for historic urban areas’ sustainable preservation (Chang 2012 ; Gunay and Dokmeci 2012 ; Günaydin and Yücekaya 2020 ; Moroke et al. 2019 ; UNESCO 2011 ). Addressing these perceptions is vital in identifying key issues and meeting the social, cultural, and economic needs of residents in historic urban areas.

2 Socio-cultural aspect in historic urban precincts- theoretical framework

Historic urban precincts are dynamic entities characterised by a blend of multiple values, crucial for defining their context (Azzopardi et al. 2023 ; Jain 2023 ; Zancheti and Jokilehto 1997 ). Recent urban regeneration studies emphasise the need to integrate socio-cultural aspects into the revitalisation of these areas (Cheshmehzangi 2023 ). Urban regeneration, traditionally focused on physical and economic dimensions, is increasingly recognised for its role in fostering unique urban character and identity through socio-cultural engagement (Abdurahiman et al. 2022a , b ; Shehata 2023 ). The socio-cultural aspect, pivotal in shaping a region’s identity and built environment, is often embedded within community fabrics (Jain 2023 ). This perspective was explored in a public perception study in the Kuttichira precinct, focusing on ‘sense of place’ and ‘quality of life’, each comprising five influential sub-criteria (Abdurahiman et al. 2022a , b ). The current study presents a framework to assess the socio-cultural impact of urban development interventions, drawing from expert opinions and literature review. The framework’s 16 identified sub-criteria are tailored to reflect the local socio-cultural context across varying scales of intervention, which are classified under four main criteria: sense of place, social cohesion, intangible assets & awareness, and local economy. These criteria, along with their sub-criteria, not only reflect the current state of urban precincts but also guide future urban interventions, assessing their impact on socio-cultural aspects and the overall adaptability and sensitivity of these interventions to the local socio-cultural fabric. While this paper focuses on the theoretical framework and its application in assessing the impact of revitalisation projects, it does not delve into the framework’s development. Figure  1 illustrates this socio-cultural framework, and Table  1 details the sub-criteria under each criterion, aiding in the assessment process.

figure 1

Socio-cultural aspect (Source: the authors)

2.1 Sense of place

The criteria of “sense of place” in historic urban precincts can be broken down into several sub-criteria, including Genius Loci, Local Experience, Place Attachment, and Place Branding. Genius Loci, the unique character and spirit of a place, is shaped by its cultural assets and design elements, contributing to its distinctive identity (Abdurahiman et al. 2022a , b ; Gustafsson 2019 ). Local Experience, involving both tangible and intangible elements like cultural events, local food, and traditions, offers a unique and authentic experience (Kusumowidagdo et al. 2023 ). Place Attachment, the emotional bond with a location, is enhanced in historic precincts through cultural heritage preservation and community engagement spaces (Giuliani 2003 ; Wang 2021 ; Zhao 2023 ). Lastly, Place Branding, creating a unique precinct identity, involves using cultural symbols and promoting local traditions, benefiting residents, vendors, and tourists alike (Aitken and Campelo 2011 ; Walters and Insch 2018 ). These elements collectively foster vibrant, inclusive communities, deeply connected to their cultural heritage and traditions, thereby reinforcing the overall sense of place in historic urban areas.

2.2 Social cohesion & inclusion

In historic urban precincts, “social cohesion & inclusion” is underpinned by sub-criteria such as Social Engagement, Multiculturalism, Cultural Affiliations, and Social Innovation. Social Engagement, through public spaces and community events, fosters interaction and builds community networks (Cachadinha et al.  2011 ; Pe et al.  2014 ; Quan-Haase et al. 2002 ; Rosenblatt et al.  2009 ; Su 2011 ). Multiculturalism enhances social cohesion by encouraging diverse cultural exchanges within communities (Cui et al.  2023 ; Reitz et al. 2009 ). Cultural Affiliations strengthen residents’ connections to their heritage, enhancing pride and identity (Azzopardi et al. 2023 ; Hannerz 1996 ; Stoffle 2020 ). Social Innovation, through novel solutions to social challenges, supports vibrant community life and cohesion (Cancellieri et al. 2018 ; García et al.  2015 ; Grimm et al. 2013 ; Martins et al. 2023 ). These elements collectively contribute to the creation of inclusive, diverse communities with strong social ties and a shared sense of community in historic urban areas.

2.3 Intangible assets & awareness

The criteria of “Intangible Assets and Awareness” in historic urban precincts can be analysed through the following sub-criteria: Intangible Cultural Heritage, Heritage Education & Awareness, Traditional Knowledge Systems, and Skill & Craftsmanship. Intangible Cultural Heritage, including traditions and cultural practices, preserves the area’s cultural identity and diversity (Ahmad 2006 ; Cominelli and Greffe 2012 ; Lenzerini 2024 ). Heritage Education & Awareness, through educational programs and cultural events, enhances understanding and appreciation of cultural heritage (İslamoğlu 2018 ; Lenzerini 2024 ). Traditional Knowledge Systems, the accumulated wisdom passed through generations, are vital for preserving cultural identity and heritage (Battiste 2016 ; Yan and Li 2023 ). Skill & Craftsmanship, representing specialised techniques in traditional crafts, support local economies and cultural preservation (Klamer 2012 ; Ocejo 2017 ). Together, these sub-criteria play a crucial role in valuing and promoting the intangible heritage, ensuring the preservation and awareness of the rich cultural fabric of historic urban precincts.

2.4 Local economy

The criteria of “Local Economy” in historic urban precincts can be analysed through the following sub-criteria: Job Opportunities, Heritage Tourism, Property Value, and Business Incubation. Job Opportunities, particularly in skilled labor for restoration and conservation, support local artisans and professionals, boosting employment and livelihood (Klamer 2012 ; Kousa et al.  2023 ; Ocejo 2017 ; Theodora 2020 ). Promoting local businesses and entrepreneurial ventures in historic precincts can transform these areas into thriving economic hubs, fostering community development and enhancing the quality of life (Elnokaly and Elseragy 2013 ). Heritage Tourism is pivotal, attracting tourists through well-preserved cultural sites, thereby generating revenue and encouraging the growth of supporting industries like hospitality and transportation (Du Cros et al. 2005 ; Madandola and Boussaa 2023 ; Quinn 2013 ; Zaei and Zaei 2013 ). Property Value increases in well-managed historic precincts, enhancing the worth of housing and commercial spaces, albeit with a need to balance development and affordability (Yigitcanlar et al. 2019 ; Zaei and Zaei 2013 ). Business Incubation promotes innovative startups, driving economic diversity and sustainability while maintaining cultural heritage (Franco et al.  2018 ; Gražulevičiūtė, 2006 ; Gustafsson and Ijla 2017 ; Lalkaka 2001 ; Romein and Trip 2017 ; Schiopu et al. 2015 ). Together, these elements contribute to the economic vitality of historic urban precincts, ensuring sustainable growth that benefits local communities and preserves historical significance.

3 Kuttichira urban heritage revitalisation project

Calicut, a historic city on India’s southwestern coast, is renowned for its natural shorelines and its history as the capital of the Zamorins. Noted in Ibn Battuta’s travels, the Zamorin Raja designated Thekkepuram in Calicut for trading communities, leading to the formation of a distinct Muslim community characterised by unique culture, religious beliefs, festivals, and traditions. This area, bordered by the Arabian Sea, Big Bazaar, and the Kallai River, revolves around a central tank or chira, the settlement’s heart. The urban layout comprises a public domain with a main road circling the pond and a private domain with narrow residential streets. The architecture is an Islamic and traditional Kerala style blend, evident in the mosques and large timber houses (Abdurahiman et al. 2022a , b ). Prior to revitalisation efforts, the pond and its vicinity were neglected, risking the loss of their natural and cultural heritage value. Infrastructure improvements were necessary to rejuvenate the urban conditions of the Kuttichira precinct, as depicted in photographs from Figs. 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 and 6 before the project.

figure 2

Obstruction by hoardings and display boards – north end (before revitalisation). (Source: the authors)

figure 3

Lack of an interface and connection—west end (before revitalisation. (Source: the authors)

figure 4

Lack of contextual character—east end (before revitalisation). (Source: the authors)

figure 5

Lack of an interactive street interface—south end (before revitalisation). (Source: the authors)

figure 6

Temporary sherltered seating and water drainage (before revitalisation). (Source: the authors)

The revitalisation of Kuttichira pond in Calicut, a collaborative effort between the National Institute of Technology Calicut’s Department of Architecture & Planning, the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC), and Nirmiti Kendra, aimed to preserve natural heritage and enhance public spaces. The project, funded by DTPC and MLA fund at ₹2 crores, focused on the cultural heritage of Calicut port city. Key developments included the Ibn Batuta walkway, new structures like open pavilions and a traditional Kerala-style bathhouse (Fig. 7 ). The proposal focused on enhancing tourism potential and improving usability and safety to the tank. Upgrades in landscaping, paving, drainage, lighting, and waste disposal facilities improved the overall quality of the urban space. The project also addressed the challenge of modern developments disrupting Kuttichira’s traditional character by advocating for regulation and preservation of the historic style. Figures  8 , 9 and 10 depict the completed intervention.

figure 7

Kuttichira heritage revitalisation project—proposed phase I masterplan layout. (Source: the authors)

figure 8

Street interface character with the bath pavilion—south end. (Source: the authors)

figure 9

Pavilions with contextual character—east side. (Source: the authors)

figure 10

Ibn Battuta Walkway—west end (Source: the authors)

4 Methodology

A thorough analysis of published literature, which includes English and Malayalam newspaper articles, blog posts, and research publications relating to the conditions, activities and lifestyle of the Kuttichira pond precinct before and after the revitalisation, was conducted. The quantitative survey relied on a pretested questionnaire to capture the relative positive impact of the revitalisation project interventions on the socio-cultural fabric. The focus was on four criteria: Sense of Place, Social Cohesion, Intangible Assets & Awareness, and Local Economy. The qualitative survey included questions and inquiries about the respondent’s knowledge of the history and heritage of the Kuttichira precinct, their opinions on the necessity of the revitalisation project and its impact, relative success or failure, and any additional thoughts they wanted to express.

4.1 Sample selection

The respondents for the study were sampled through convenience sampling. During the launch of the revitalisation project, 60 key individuals were identified from a stakeholder meeting and the public and acknowledged as possessing a shared viewpoint among a larger group or community in the Kuttichira area. The individual’s contacts were collected and frequently contacted to acquire periodic feedback before and after the project to obtain reliable post-completion project assessment feedback. The 60 participants who responded positively in the previous public perception study (Abdurahiman et al. 2022a , b ) and have also served as active experts for the current study.

4.2 Questionnaire design

The questionnaire was designed so that the respondents, based on their understanding and experience, could assign a relative positive impact score for every item by the revitalisation project through a 7-point Likert scale (Likert 1932 ). The 7-point scale was established to be fit and acceptable by several authors (Abdurahiman et al. 2022a , b ; Colman et al. 1997 ; Finstad 2010 ; Johns 2010 ; Lewis 1993 ; Miller 1956 ; Symonds 1924 ). Likert scale can be treated as continuous variables. The reasoning behind this idea is based on the notion that Likert scale variables, which are ordinal with five or more categories, can often be treated as continuous without negatively impacting the analysis (Johnson and Creech 1983 ; Norman 2010 ; Sullivan and Artino 2013 ; Zumbo and Zimmerman 1993 ). When this is done, the variable is commonly referred to as an ‘ordinal approximation of a continuous variable’ due to the five or more categories rule. The respondent frequency and percentage of the respondents based on their gender and age were collated using the frequency analysis technique. Face-to-face interviews were held at the Kuttichira tank precinct in Malayalam and audio recorded with consent. The interviews were then transcribed into English. Observations were documented on paper, and photos were taken to enhance understanding of the responses. The study collected, summarised, and analysed stakeholders’ perceptions and subjective views.

4.3 Relative Positive Impact Index (RPII)

The public perception study conducted to evaluate the role of urban heritage on the community’s social wellbeing adopted the Average Index technique to establish the levels of agreement for the criteria (Abdurahiman et al. 2022a , b ), which aided in determining the relevance of certain criteria to be included, adapted or revisited for the current socio-cultural framework. In the current study, the collected data was analysed using the novel technique proposed by the authors, i.e. Relative Positive Impact Index (RPII) Technique adapted from the Relative Importance Index (RII) technique. RII determines the relative importance of the various influential criteria that determine a particular parameter (Dittrich et al. 2007 ). In contrast, RPII technique will determine the relative positive impact level of a particular activity/function on the corresponding determining criteria. The seven-point Likert scale ranging from 1 to 7 (1: no major impact; 7: major impact) is adopted and transformed to relative positive impact indices (RPII) for each sub-criterion by using the below equation:

Where ‘W’ is the weighting given to each sub-criterion by the respondents (ranging from 1 to 7), ‘A’ is the highest weight (i.e., 7 in this case), and N is the total number of respondents. The value of RII for each criterion and sub-criteria determines the impact in influencing the criteria. Table 2 shows the adapted 7-point Likert scale from 1 to 7 with its respective Relative Positive Impact Index (RPII) value range and their corresponding positive impact level.

5 Results and analysis

A purposive sampling of 60 participants responded to the questionnaire survey. Regarding gender, 60% of the sample constituted male, and 40% constituted female group. Based on age-wise distribution, most of the respondents fall under 25–34 years, with 38 respondents (63.3%), followed by categories 12 respondents under 35–44 years (20%), 6 respondents under 45–59 years, and 60 years & above with four respondents (6.7%). Table 3 shows the demographic overview of the respondents. IBM SPPS Statistics Version 21 was used to conduct reliability analysis by calculating Cronbach’s Alpha (α). The Cronbach alpha values obtained for criteria SC1, SC2, SC3 and SC4 are .798, .840, .782 and .842 respectively. The response obtained from the SC3 criteria shows a lower alpha value (α = .782) compared to other criteria sets, which would increase to α = .784 if SC34 (skill and craftsmanship) is omitted. Since the change or increase in alpha value is negligible, we retain item SC34 as such. Table 4 shows Cronbach’s alpha values for all the criteria. All the alpha values are above .750, which shows good reliability within each criterion set. Pearson’s correlation was used to study the inter-item correlation within each criterion set (Freedman et al.  2007 ; Norman 2010 ; Sullivan and Artino, 2013 ). The correlation amongst the main criteria was also studied and depicted through a correlation heatmap, as shown in Fig.  11 . The Pearson correlation heat maps for all the sub-criteria sets are shown in Fig.  12 . All the items showed a significantly positive correlation between each other within all the criteria sets. The responses from the participants were collated in Microsoft excel to understand the frequency distribution of responses. The respondent distribution table for criteria and sub-criteria are shown in Tables  5 and 6 , respectively. The descriptive statistics were analysed using IBM SPSS Statistics 21. There were no missing or invalid entries. The positive impact level for each main criterion and their respective sub-criteria was interpreted by calculating the Relative Positive Impact Index (RPII) values. The RPII values of the main four criteria and their ranking is shown in Table  7 . ‘Sense of Place’ ranks 4th with an RPII of 0.8429, ‘Social Cohesion & Inclusion’ ranking 2nd with an RPII of 0.8952; ‘Intangible Assets & Awareness’ has the highest RPII of 0.9333, ranking 1st; and ‘Local Economy’ ranked 3rd with an RPII of 0.8762. The RPII index value for all the sub-criteria and their corresponding local ranks is shown in Table  8 . ‘Local Experience’ and ‘Genius Loci’ lead Sense of Place with high RPIIs, while ‘Cultural Affiliations’, ‘Social Engagement’, and ‘Multiculturalism’ dominate Social Cohesion & Inclusion. In Intangible Assets & Awareness, ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ and ‘Traditional Knowledge Systems’ stand out with the highest RPIIs. ‘Property Value’, ‘Job Opportunities’, and ‘Heritage Tourism’ lead in Local Economy, with ‘Business Incubation’ being less impactful. These RPII values highlight the diverse impacts of each criterion within these precincts. The RPII values for each sub-criterion were multiplied by their parent criteria RPII value to obtain the Global RPII values as shown in Table  9 . The global impact rankings were derived based on global RPII values. In the “Sense of Place” category, ‘Genius Loci’ and ‘Local Experience’ are prominent, ranking 9th and 8th. The “Social Cohesion & Inclusion” category is led by ‘Cultural Affiliations’ at 4th, with ‘Social Engagement’ and ‘Multiculturalism’ also notable. The “Intangible Assets & Awareness” category stands out, with ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ ranking 1st, indicating the highest impact, followed closely by ‘Traditional Knowledge Systems’ and ‘Heritage Education & Awareness’. In “Local Economy”, ‘Property Value’ leads the group, while ‘Business Incubation’ ranks lowest.

figure 11

Pearson correlation heat map for criteria. (Source: the authors)

figure 12

Pearson correlation heat map for sub-criteria. (Source: the authors)

6 Discussions

The study on the case of the Kuttichira heritage revitalisation project indicates a positive impact on the precinct and the community. Utilising the Relative Positive Impact Index (RPII) for quantitative statistical assessment, all criteria demonstrated substantial positive outcomes. The findings suggest that the project’s interventions have effectively and positively influenced the socio-cultural fabric of Kuttichira, both directly and indirectly. The architectural renewal of the new pavilions and street interfaces in Kuttichira has played a pivotal role in rejuvenating the area’s historical and cultural essence, exemplifying effective place-making. This process involved creating public spaces that reflect local culture and history while serving community needs. Key to this transformation was thoughtful planning, design, and community engagement, enhancing the sense of belonging among residents and attracting tourists, who further promoted the area through social media. This synergy between residents and visitors has fostered a sense of place, where both groups can connect with and take pride in the unique character and spirit of the area. Quantitatively, ‘local experience’ and ‘spirit of place’ were the most positively impacted aspects under ‘sense of place’. The revitalisation of the Kuttichira tank has notably enhanced social cohesion in the community by providing spaces for interaction and fostering community engagement. The redesigned tank area has become a hub for socialising, attracting new businesses and amenities, thereby creating jobs and increasing foot traffic. This has led to a more dynamic and culturally diverse community space. Additionally, the project’s emphasis on preserving and showcasing the area’s cultural heritage has instilled a sense of pride and ownership among residents, encouraging active participation in community development. Quantitative analysis indicates that ‘cultural affiliations’ and ‘social engagement’ are the most positively impacted sub-criteria under ‘social cohesion & inclusion’. Early indicators of social innovation are evident, including initial community responses, new social practices, and innovative community initiatives stemming from the project. The revitalisation projects in the area have played a crucial role in preserving its soul, consequently revitalising intangible assets like local cuisines, a major draw for visitors. The increased influx of students and tourists has spurred the popularity of heritage walks, conducted by agencies and NGOs like INTACH. To enhance tourist engagement, local organisations, assisted by experts, organise cultural events showcasing local traditions such as ‘kolkalli’ , ‘oppanna’, and ‘daffmuttu’ . These initiatives have boosted awareness and appreciation of the area’s cultural heritage, attracting more visitors. Quantitative analysis reveals that ‘intangible cultural heritage’ and ‘traditional knowledge systems’ are the sub-criteria under ‘intangible assets & awareness’ most positively influenced by these efforts. The revitalisation of the Kuttichira tank, while not directly benefitting the local economy due to tourism control by the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC), has indirectly boosted local economic activity. Increased foot traffic from outsiders and tourists has created opportunities for local vendors, leading to higher consumer spending. This project is expected to diversify and introduce new revenue streams for the local economy soon. Additionally, it has the potential to influence property values positively, which could further stimulate economic growth. However, this increase in property values might adversely impact the existing heritage structures in the precinct. Quantitative analysis suggests that ‘property value’ and ‘job opportunities’ are the sub-criteria most positively affected under ‘local economy’.

7 Conclusions

In this paper, the impact of a revitalisation project on the socio-cultural aspect of the historic urban precinct of Kuttichira was analysed using the Relative Positive Impact Index (RPII) technique. The findings of this study show that urban revitalisation projects can positively impact the preservation of cultural heritage promotion of cultural heritage, revitalisation of community life, increased sense of pride, and encouragement of cultural events and activities in historic urban precincts. The findings showed that the project has positively impacted socio-cultural fabric. The survey was designed to gather personal and subjective views from a socio-cultural perspective. The qualitative survey results to assess the perception of the revitalisation project also indicated a positive attitude among the majority of the respondents. By utilising the RPII technique, this study highlights the importance of considering these areas’ cultural heritage and intangible cultural assets in planning and implementing urban revitalisation projects. The study indicates that the project has also sparked interest among residents and visitors, leading to a sense of belongingness in the area. The revitalisation project could catalyse further redevelopment projects, boosting the economy through new commercial activities. Another key aspect is the involvement of the local stakeholders. Public consultation is crucial in planning for better contextual policies, even if it slows the process. Community stakeholder involvement during development is essential, followed by post-completion community perception studies to monitor successes and failures for sustainable maintenance or future improvements. This cyclic management process is crucial for the success and appreciation of the revitalisation of the sacred precinct. Community support is key to the success of revitalisation, making it a worthwhile endeavor.

The study’s unique and novel contribution lies in its application of the Relative Positive Impact Index (RPII) to assess the socio-cultural impacts of urban revitalisation in the historic precinct of Kuttichira. This approach is unique as it introduces a quantitative method for evaluating aspects that are often qualitative and intangible, such as cultural heritage and community dynamics. The focus on the socio-cultural fabric rather than just economic or infrastructural outcomes sets this study apart. The study emphasises the importance of local community and stakeholder perceptions, providing a comprehensive view of the project’s effectiveness from the perspective of those directly affected. This stakeholder-centric analysis is a significant advancement in understanding the real impacts of urban revitalisation projects. Furthermore, the study’s recommendations for policy and planning are instrumental, advocating for the broader application of RPII in other historic urban areas. This contributes to more informed, culturally sensitive urban policy and planning decisions. The emphasis on preserving cultural integrity and authenticity in the face of rapid urbanisation is a critical insight, highlighting the necessity of maintaining cultural heritage in urban development. Overall, the study makes a substantial contribution to the field by bridging the gap between quantitative assessment and the qualitative aspects of urban cultural heritage, offering a nuanced and comprehensive framework for evaluating and guiding urban revitalisation projects.

The study also has its limitations. The qualitative data’s inherent subjectivity may not fully represent the broader community sentiment. Stakeholder representation in the study might be limited, potentially affecting the comprehensiveness of the findings. The temporal nature of the study means that evolving perceptions and impacts over time might not be captured. Geographically, the findings are specific to Kuttichira and may not be generalisable to other regions with different socio-cultural dynamics. The quantification of qualitative aspects of cultural heritage and community dynamics presents challenges, as some nuances might not be fully captured by the index. Additionally, response bias in surveys and interviews might influence the results, and external factors like economic or political shifts may not be fully accounted for. Finally, the study might not adequately address the long-term sustainability and ongoing impact of the revitalisation project, a crucial aspect for understanding its lasting effectiveness. These limitations highlight areas for future research and careful interpretation of the findings.

Availability of data and materials

Not applicable.


District Tourism Promotion Council

Environmental Impact Assessment

Heritage Impact Assessment

Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage

Member of the Legislative Assembly

Non-Governmental Organisation

Relative Importance Index

Relative Positive Impact Indices

Social Impact Assessment

Statistical Package for the Social Sciences

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation

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Abdurahiman, S., Kasthurba, A.K. & Nuzhat, A. Assessing the socio-cultural impact of urban revitalisation using Relative Positive Impact Index (RPII). Built Heritage 8 , 8 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1186/s43238-024-00118-3

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a case study in urban revitalisation

How Eight Cities Succeeded in Rejuvenating their Urban Land

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SINGAPORE, July 13, 2016 – The single most crucial component in rejuvenating decaying urban areas around the world is private sector participation, according to a report released today from the World Bank and the Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) during the World Cities Summit taking place in Singapore this week.

“ Urban regeneration projects are rarely implemented solely by the public sector.  There is a need for massive financial resources that most cities can’t meet,” said Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, Senior Director for the World Bank’s Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice .  “Participation from the private sector is a critical factor in determining whether a regeneration program is successful – programs that create urban areas where citizens can live, work, and thrive .”

Every city has pockets of underused land or distressed urban areas, most often the result of changes in urban growth and productivity patterns. In developing countries, which are absorbing 90 percent of the world’s urban population growth, decaying inner cities are home to an increasing number of poor and vulnerable citizens. These areas marginalize and exclude residents, and can have a long-term negative effect on their upward mobility.

Regenerating Urban Land: A Practitioner’s Guide to Leveraging Private Investment looks at regeneration programs from eight cities around the world – Ahmedabad, Buenos Aires, Johannesburg, Santiago, Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai, and Washington DC – documenting the journeys they have faced in tackling major challenges in this area. 

Building on the experience of cities from different regions around the world, the report looks at projects for inner cities, former industrial or commercial site, ports, waterfronts, and historic neighborhoods. While the cases vary in many aspects, what they have in common is significant private sector participation in the regeneration and rehabilitation of deteriorating urban areas. 

The report singles out successful policy and finance tools in each city case study, and points out issues and challenges the city faced during the process. It identifies four distinct phases for successful urban regeneration: scoping, planning, financing, and implementation. Each phase includes a set of unique mechanisms that local governments can use to systematically design a regeneration process.

For example, in Singapore, the polluted Singapore River was no longer used for trading activities as large-scale container ports gained prominence. 

“ Capitalizing on the Singapore River’s historical importance and potential for redevelopment, the government launched a transformational program that preserved cultural heritage, improved the environment, and opened the area for recreational pedestrian use.  Similar efforts elsewhere can rejuvenate cities and regional economies,” said Jordan Schwartz, Director of the World Bank’s Infrastructure & Urban Development Hub, based in Singapore .

Yet there is no “one size fits all” approach when looking for solutions to cities’ declining areas.  The report stresses that while the tools presented in the report yielded successful results in many cities around the world, no one solution is universally applicable to all cities and situations .  The report also emphasizes that with strong political leadership, any city can start an urban regeneration process, but the successful use of land-planning and finance tools depend on sound and well-enforced zoning and property tax systems.

“No two cities are alike, so to meet this challenge, the World Bank created an online decision tool, based on the specific issues the city faces and its current regulatory and financial environment ,” said Rana Amirtahmasebi, author of the report. “ Local governments can use the information curated in this report to begin to reverse the process of economic, social, and physical decay in urban areas, moving toward the sustainable, inclusive development of their cities.”    

Illustrating the transformation, other case studies from the new report include:

  • The city of Santiago (Chile) lost almost 50 percent of its population and 33 percent of its housing stock between 1950 and 1990. But the city turned this around, using a national housing subsidy to specifically target the repopulation of the inner city. The private investment reached USD 3 billion throughout the life of project, stimulated by a USD 138 million subsidy.
  • Buenos Aires (Argentina) found itself on the verge of becoming unsustainable, when urban sprawl moved away from downtown leaving prime waterfront land, with significant architectural and industrial heritage, vacant and underused. To tackle this problem, the city used a self-financing urban regeneration initiative in Puerto Madero to redevelop the unused 170-hectare land parcel to an attractive mixed-use waterfront neighborhood. The total investment reached USD 1.7 billion, with USD 300 million invested by the city through the sale of land.
  • Seoul (Republic of Korea) experienced a major decrease in residential and commercial activity in its downtown, where small plots, narrow roads, and high land prices made development too costly. From 1975 to 1995, Seoul lost more than half its downtown population, while substandard housing for mostly squatters and renters was more than twice the city’s average. Seoul launched the Cheonggyecheon revitalization project to redevelop an 18-lane elevated highway into a revitalized stream with green public space totaling 16.3 hectares, dramatically increasing real estate values and the variety of uses for the downtown areas.
  • In Ahmedabad (India) , the closure of mills along the Sabarmati Riverfront caused unemployed laborers to form large informal settlements along the riverbed, creating unsafe and unclean living areas and reducing the flood management capacity.  In response, the city created a development corporation to reclaim 200 hectares of riverfront land on both sides and paid the project costs through the sale of 14.5 percent of the reclaimed land, while the rest of the riverfront was transformed into public parks and laborers resettled through a national program. 
  • In the 18-square kilometer inner city of Johannesburg (South Africa) , a series of targeted regeneration initiatives achieved a decline in property vacancy rates from 40 percent in 2003 to 17 percent in 2008, and a similar jump in property transactions.  Since 2001, for every rand (R) 1 million (about USD 63,000) invested by the Johannesburg Development Authority, private investors have put R 18 million into the inner city of Johannesburg, creating property assets valued at R 600 million and infrastructure assets valued at R 3.1 billion.

For the full report and toolkit, please visit: https://urban-regeneration.worldbank.org/

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Ubc theses and dissertations, the winnipeg core area initiative : a case study in urban revitalisation stewart, dana gayle --> -->.

Inner-city revitalisation poses perhaps the most complex challenge faced by urban planners today. This dissertation explores the role of planning in urban restructuring by providing a critical empirical investigation into a major Canadian tripartite planning intervention that spans a decade -- The Winnipeg Core Area Initiative (1981 to 1991). The purpose of the dissertation is to study the Winnipeg Core Area Initiative (CM) as a prototypical model for urban regeneration and public-policy intervention, to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the CAI, and to evaluate the impact that this urban intervention had over a period of ten years. Backed by a comparative analysis of urban regeneration efforts in Great Britain and the United States, it explores the concept of "distress" in inner-city areas and attempts to answer the questions: Distress -- who can relieve it and how? The case-study method is used for an evaluation of the CAI that includes content analysis of published materials produced about, and for, the Initiative and public-attitude surveys and newspaper reports over the period 1981 to 1991. The results of interviews with twenty-five "key or core players" provide qualitative data that enriches the dissertation by presenting a picture of the CAI that is missing from evaluation reports commissioned by the tripartite partners or from published commentaries on the Initiative. This case study reveals an urban intervention strategy with objectives that were conceptually broad and comprehensive, perhaps too much so for the level of financial and organisational resources available and the level of public expectations that was raised. While the model was an excellent vehicle to harmonise scarce public resources and leverage private investment, this study reveals a disjunction between policy intent and policy implementation in attempting to balance economic development with disparity relief efforts. This dissertation concludes that there are components of the CAI model that provide valuable instruction for urban restructuring but it is unlikely that the model as originally designed, could, or should, be replicated. The importance of this study is to provide a broad examination of the theoretical framework behind the Winnipeg CAI as an instrument for urban public policy that will assist future planning-and-policy formation attempts in urban revitalisation and strengthen the public and private ability to generate comprehensive, strategic and cohesive urban policy.

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Revitalized Public Spaces: Fostering Human Connections in Cities

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  • Written by Paula Pintos
  • Published on August 18, 2020

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Public space has always been a top priority in every city’s urban planning agenda and given today’s world context, these urban spaces have emerged as fundamental elements of cities and neighborhoods. Plazas, squares, and parks, undeniable necessities in the urban fabric, have become, today, more vital than ever.

Not only do these spaces have a positive impact on health, but they generate recreational space to exercise, play, meet, and socialize with others. In addition, quality public and open spaces are key in generating human connections within cities’ neighborhoods. Having an open space to enjoy, certainly prompts a sense of community and belonging to one’s own proximate environment, whilst creating positive psychological effects by establishing relationships between members of the community. 

To provide people with accessible, human-centered, quality spaces, cities have sought help from architects. In fact, the high demand for these types of places required excellent design and architectural value. Below is a selection of projects that have successfully regenerated existing urban spaces and transformed them into active and vibrant squares, plazas, and riverfronts.

Israels Plads Square / Cobe + Sweco Architects

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The plaza also works as a transition between two worlds, the city, and the neighboring park. The landscape character of the park continues into the plaza in the form of the organic pattern of trees. Towards east and west, the plaza is raised up and folded to provide niches. In addition, it has a sculptural expression that refers to its historical past as part of the fortifications. The surface functions as a large urban playground and a space for activity. The idea with the new Israels Plads is to celebrate the significance and the history of the site and revitalize it, turning it into a vibrant, diverse plaza for all kinds of people - for leisure, culture, activity and public events.

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Superblock of Sant Antoni / Leku Studio

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A people-centred planning that offers the opportunity to gain new public spaces by creating proximity squares in the chamfer corners and green-healthy streets where previously there were cars. Where previously there was an urban highway, now there is a healthy street full of life and green, where there was a traffic intersection now there is a liveable plaza. Car noise has been replaced by children playing, cheerful conversations between neighbours or elderly people chess games ... The transformation continues together with this flexible landscape capable of integrating new changes derived from urban testing and social innovation.

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V-Plaza Urban Development / 3deluxe architecture

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What was previously a largely unused space adjoined by historical buildings is now becoming a new, inviting public amenity where you can casually enjoy a coffee in your lunch break or get some work done outdoors while children play in the water, young people skate and students relax in the sun… The real challenge was to preserve cultural heritage while creating space for social transformation. And the solution was innovative architecture that caters to the needs of today’s society: bright, friendly, open, and connecting.

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Memory of the Land / NODE Architecture & Urbanism

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Based on thorough field investigation, the following strategies were proposed: 1. Separate pedestrians from vehicular traffic to give way to slow-traffic circulation and ensure safe daily trips of residents; 2. Highlight the functional characteristics of each public space and simplify/enhance the existing site as needed; 3. Enhance the slow-traffic loop and public experience, and link up the industrial exhibition area, river landscape, community park, market, theater, and buildings of different historical periods to offer diverse daily experience.

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Azatlyk, Central Square of Naberezhnye Chelny / DROM

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We transformed the square into a captivating, dynamic public space with multi-character environments and qualities that are inclusive of different groups of people. In place of the former central axis, we created a “city carpet” that functions as three squares, each with its own unique character: The Event Square is a paved urban space that is also used for weekly outdoor markets. The “Green Square” is for relaxing on the lawn and enjoying the seasonal landscaping by the city’s planting department. The Cultural Square has a renovated fountain and a new shallow pool for playing in water on hot days. This square is connected to the municipality and a movie theater that is located inside.  

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Skanderbeg Square / 51N4E

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The project’s landscaping was studied anew, and turned into a local ecosystem anticipating the creation of a new urban ecology for the city. Local species were chosen to increase the system’s natural resistance by reacting to ongoing climate change. Trees, shrubs and perennials were combined to foster urban biodiversity and control the city center’s microclimate. Albania’s nature’s richness in diverse species and varieties is thus valorized, allowing public space to assume bot recreational and educative functions.

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Tainan Spring / MVRDV

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The mall’s underground parking level has been transformed into a sunken public plaza dominated by an urban pool and verdant local plants and surrounded by a shadowed arcade. The pool has been carefully planned to be a perfect gathering spot for all seasons: the water level will rise and fall in response to the rainy and dry seasons, and in hot weather mist sprayers will reduce the local temperature to provide welcome relief to visitors, reducing the use of air conditioning in the summer months. This space hosts playgrounds, gathering spaces, and a stage for performances, while the artful deconstruction of the building’s concrete frame has left a number of follies that can in due course be converted to shops, kiosks, and other amenities.

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Victoria on the River / Edwards White Architects

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 At a macro level, the design seeks to establish a park that serves two functions. Firstly, as a destination where people can pause, interact, and enjoy river views. Secondly as a device that links the disparate levels of the lower river path, upper promenade, and main street. For some, it’s a space to play, for some a place to contemplate, a place to find solitude or a place to be in community. For others, it’s a means of access or a place to exercise. A new market, concerts, yoga classes, boot camps, skateboarders, meeting friends to eat together, all occupy this space. Sitting down in the park and overhearing both young and old as they discover it for the first time is a real joy.

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Niederhafen River Promenade / Zaha Hadid Architects

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With construction of all phases now complete, the redevelopment of Hamburg ’s Niederhafen flood protection barrier re-connects its river promenade with the surrounding urban fabric of the city; serving as a popular riverside walkway while also creating links with adjacent neighbourhoods. A minimum width of ten metres ensures this popular riverside promenade offers generous public spaces for pedestrians, joggers, street performers, food stalls and cafes. Shops and public utilities are also accommodated within the structure at street level facing the city. Wide staircases resembling small amphitheatres are carved within the flood protection barrier at points where streets from the adjacent neighbourhoods meet the structure; giving passers-by at street level views of the people strolling along the promenade at the top of the barrier as well as views of the masts and superstructures of ships in the Elbe.

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Note: The quoted texts are excerpts from the archived descriptions of each project, previously sent by the architects. Find more reference projects in this My ArchDaily folder created by the author.

This article is part of the ArchDaily Topic: How Will We Live Together . Every month we explore a topic in-depth through articles, interviews, news, and projects. Learn more about our monthly topics here . As always, at ArchDaily we welcome the contributions of our readers; if you want to submit an article or project, contact us .

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Please note you do not have access to teaching notes, revitalisation of urban spaces by women architects: enhancing cultural heritage in the gulf region.


ISSN : 2631-6862

Article publication date: 25 December 2023

This study aims to demonstrate how women's involvement in urban planning and design in Gulf cities improves urban space's inclusivity and strengthens identity through cultural heritage revitalisation. It also promotes the participation of women in architecture and city-making by showcasing how shaping urban spaces offers local communities opportunities for social interaction and a more inclusive environment.


The paper critically compares two case studies in the Gulf region—one in the United Arab Emirates and the other in Bahrain—according to four inclusion criteria: context connection, cultural sensitivity, community engagement and choices of amenities. These inclusion criteria are also applied to an experimental project by women architects' students in Saudi Arabia to inspire the future female architects of the Gulf region. From urban to architectural scales, the project offers a glance into the heritage design by women architects.

In light of this critical analysis, this study highlights the sensitivity to issues related to the revitalisation of urban areas by women architects. The case studies identified show the role of the female architect in making architecture and linking cultural heritage with contemporary themes. These projects stitch the past with the present and link cultural identity with aspects related to sustainable architecture. Therefore, valorising women's architectural experience is necessary to contribute to sustainable urban development in the Gulf region and beyond.


The present study addresses the importance of the role of women architects in the Gulf region. The research promotes the full and equal participation of women in the architecture and construction of the city to recognise their achievements by increasing their involvement in the work in a more integrated and balanced way.

  • Cultural heritage
  • Inclusivity
  • Urban design strategies
  • Gulf region
  • Women architects


Author 1: this research is part of the Sustainable Architecture Lab (SA Lab) at Prince Sultan University. The author is grateful to Prince Sultan University for the support of the publication. Author 2: this research is part of the Nature City Lab and UNESCO Chair on Mediterranean Cultural Landscape and Communities of Knowledge research groups at University of Basilicata. Author 3: the author is grateful to PSU Community Services and Continuing Education Center for their support for this publication. The authors thank the Aga Khan Trust for Culture to provide images and authorise them for publication.

Moscatelli, M. , Raffa, A. and Ulusoy Shipstone, A. (2023), "Revitalisation of urban spaces by women architects: enhancing cultural heritage in the gulf region", Archnet-IJAR , Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/ARCH-09-2023-0258

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A Case Study in Urban Revitalisation

A Case Study in Urban Revitalisation

A case study in centro urban revitalisation This retrospect on Subi Centro is the culmination of many people’s time and effort. The SRA wishes to acknowledge the generosity and time of all who participated and to thank them, most sincerely, for their involvement. In particular independent interviews were held with key stakeholders namely government figures, industry experts, project consultants, community groups and key personnel of the Redevelopment Authority (past and present). All were unfailingly expansive in their responses, patient in their explanations and very generous with their time. Views expressed throughout this document are those of the key stakeholders who participated in the independent interviews. 3 subi centro

A case study in urban revitalisation To transform a disconnected railway and industrial area into a liveable and vibrant community while maintaining the heritage feel and enhancing connectivity. 4 subi centro A case study in urban revitalisation

Area (ha) 80

New Homes 800-900

Social / Affordable Homes 33

New population 1,500

Commercial / Retail Space (m2) 90,000

New Workers 3,200

Government Investment $130 million

Investment Attraction $500 million

Source: Subi Centro Concept Planning 1994 5 purpose

This case study follows the evolution of the built environment Most importantly the pages that follow identify the overall in Subiaco, on the back of a major State infrastructure project project learnings from the redevelopment of industrial to create Subi Centro. Subiaco into an urban village. Recognising and documenting these lessons is vital to the continued betterment of the Reflecting back on sinking Subiaco Train Station and Redevelopment Authority model. subsequent redevelopment of the area provides a unique opportunity for experience-based learning. It is a vital This retrospect has been informed by key planning, part to understanding the effectiveness of the Subiaco development and decision-making records from the Redevelopment Authority (the Authority) as well as to inform Authority as well as 2006 census data, annual reports, and a and improve future policies, processes and direction by: commission to interview key stakeholders. The Authority has made every effort to ensure the integrity of these findings by 1. Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of presenting facts and drawing on stakeholder opinions. project delivery. 2. Measuring outcomes against original project objectives. The lessons learnt from Western Australia ’s second major 3. Addressing lessons learnt. inner city redevelopment project have been shared here in order to inform and inspire future projects. The study openly compares the original project objectives with what was actually delivered through the redevelopment by evaluating physical provision and reporting on the commentary of key stakeholders. It is a historical record of not only what was delivered but also how and why. 6 subi centro A case study in urban revitalisation understanding the place

Throughout its history, Subiaco has developed a strong sense Up until the 1980s Subiaco Station included a freight receiving of place and character. The inner city suburb was named after depot and a third platform. On September 1, 1979 all railway its first European residents; a group of Benedictine monks services on the Fremantle line were suspended by the Court whose order was founded in Subiaco, Italy and came to the Liberal Government. The line was then re-opened on 29 July area in 1851. 1983 by the newly elected Labor Government led by Brian Burke. In 1881, the Perth to Fremantle railway line was opened. As Perth grew throughout the 1980s it became clear that It was the first suburban railway in Perth and encouraged greater Subiaco suffered as a result of difficult access across working class residents to settle around Subiaco as land the railway. The neighbouring suburbs of Daglish and Jolimont prices were lower than in Perth or West Perth. During the were isolated from Subiaco Town Centre and the retail strip 1890s the population of Subiaco increased dramatically as a along Rokeby Road began to decline. The retail tenancy rate result of the depression in the eastern states and the Western dropped and the area was beginning to stagnate due to a lack Australian gold rush. of overall vision. Industrial tenancies were introduced on the land adjacent to Sinking Subiaco Train Station was the first step towards the railway line as early as 1921. It was around this time that reconnecting Subiaco with the northern suburbs. The Calyx Porcelain and Paint Company, later renamed Australian project delivered the first underground railway station on the Fine China (AFC), was founded. The local authority leased Transperth network and the opportunity for new connections this land directly from State Government and set up long term and inner city redevelopment on the vacant land created sub-leases with companies such as AFC and CGI Gases to above. The vision for Subi Centro centred on transit-oriented enable its occupation. Other activities around the railway line design principles and new developments that would meld with included a small airstrip and marshalling yards. AFC continued the existing fabric of Subiaco. to operate in Subiaco until 2006 when the company relocated to Welshpool.

“It was a largely disused light “You couldn’t get from one side to the industrial site. There is always the other, Daglish was isolated, (it was) question – what will the market bear” neither Subiaco nor Floreat” Redevelopment Authority Redevelopment Authority 7

Subi Centro was to become a vibrant sustainable community offering residents a diversity of lifestyle options, the ability to work, recreate and shop close to home, and the opportunity to decrease their reliance on private vehicles. As a former industrial site, environmental remediation was necessary to clean up the area and facilitate the redevelopment. Significant heritage aspects have been retained through public art, design and deliberate preservation works. Today, Subi Centro integrates residential housing, shopping and commercial aspects into a community that has been reconnected with its neighbours. A green spine runs the length of the redevelopment offering a place for people to relax, play and interact. In most cases the built form is considered to be beautiful, at worse a little bland. Subi Centro is now more that 85 per cent complete. Planning powers for most of the area have been handed back to the local authority with only a few redevelopment sites remaining. Though opinions are divided as to whether Subi Centro qualifies as a vibrant urban village, there is little doubt that the redevelopment has reconnected Subiaco, revitalised Rokeby Road and boosted the local resident population. In 2004, Subi Centro was awarded the Urban Development Institute of Australia National Award for Excellence in Urban Renewal.

“The vision was to do away with the railway line and the separation” Redevelopment Authority 8 subi centro A case study in urban revitalisation the delivery model

Subi Centro was a major benefactor of the Hawke Government’s Building Better Cities program (1991-1996). The program sought to promote and demonstrate efficient, equitable and sustainable city development and increase the capacity of Australian cities to meet a range of social, economic and environmental objectives. As State-owned inner city land that was largely underutilised, the proposed Subi Centro redevelopment became a strong candidate for Commonwealth funding. The initial works to sink the railway line and clean up the area required substantial upfront investment and carried a “It’s a unique experiment significant amount of risk. It was a job that only Government could do as failure to deliver would mean bankruptcy for the – to pass law which for private sector. Consequently the Subiaco Redevelopment Authority was formed by an Act of Parliament in 1994. a period of time places The Authority was responsible for all aspects of the redevelopment from concept planning to development and in the hands of board investment attraction. The first Redevelopment Scheme was introduced in 1996 setting out an innovative planning members the power to framework that aimed to deliver a sustainable urban village. reinvent space” At the time the Redevelopment Authority model was still new, Redevelopment Authority but less startling. Claisebrook Village (in East Perth) had paved the way for Subi Centro, resulting in less perceptual risk and greater market certainty. Claisebrook Village had already pioneered mixed-use medium density development and Perth builders and developers had learned how to respond. The location of Subi Centro within the ‘golden triangle’ of Perth real estate also improved confidence. Over time the scope of the challenges faced by the Authority have appeared less dramatic. In order to reconnect communities, roads needed to be realigned, the railway station sunk and the industrial activities relocated. Stakeholder engagement also proved challenging and a lack of careful management lead to difficult relationships with local authorities and residents. 9

“You need a body with appropriate Notwithstanding there is broad support for the Redevelopment Authority model and a strong belief that it ‘gets the job done’. authority and legislative backing and The centralised planning and development control helped to then you can move… [without that] keep focus and drive project delivery, however at the same time, it raised questions over the appropriate exercise of they’d still only be talking” power and required a delicate balancing act. pRoject Consultant The Redevelopment Authority model used for Subi Centro was similar to that used in the redevelopment of East Perth - a unified and small management team supported by external “We put in people who could think. consultants and a dedicated Board. The Authority used only a This was important to success as was small number of consultants and was considered to be nimble and characterised by good governance, great management board competency” and excellent leadership. This model was perceived to have worked well and developed a clear vision for Subi Centro. Government To some degree, comparisons between Claisebrook Village and Subi Centro are inevitable. The redevelopment of Subi “We have learned so much about ourselves, Centro demonstrated a significant growth in local expertise from pushed boundaries as far as we could go... the redevelopment of Claisebrook Village. The redevelopment projects were seen by many to be the expressions of a If you push too hard, the risk is that all the maturing idea - a growing vision about what Perth is and how it cards would come down” should look into the future. The redevelopments are viewed as successful enterprises in their own right that pushed a series Redevelopment Authority of boundaries in the development industry and generated new lifestyle options for Perth. 10 subi centro A case study in urban revitalisation promoting revitalisation Create a safe and comfortable environment for people. To put the delivery of the Subi Centro redevelopment into perspective, reflection on the 01 outcomes and achievements Encourage protection of place have been made against the by preserving cultural heritage. original project objectives. 02 Provide a greenway which will be safe and offers a variety of experiences to meet the recreation and leisure needs of 03 the community.

Encourage protection of place 04 by conserving energy.

Demonstrate innovative environmental remediation techniques for environmentally 05 degraded areas. 11

Encourage energy efficient 09 land development.

Encourage investment opportunities, growth 10 and revitalisation.

Reduce traffic by Make provisions for making better use of disabled access. public transport and placing residents within walking distance 06 of employment. 11 Increase public access to the area by developing a new train station and integrating public 07 transport links Deliver housing innovation, 08 choice and affordability.

Since the original project objectives were specific to Subi Centro the discussion that follows has been structured in accordance with current day redevelopment themes, to ensure project learnings are directly transferable to contemporary delivery practices. 12 subi centro A case study in urban revitalisation sense of place

Build a sense of place by supporting unique and high quality design, heritage protection, public art, and cultural activities that respond to Perth’s environment, climate and lifestyle.

A sense of place can be said to be embodied by the overlay The Subi Centro redevelopment aimed to be respectful to the of human engagement on the natural and built environment. existing character of Subiaco. Streetscapes were carefully It can be fostered, but not imposed, and takes time to develop. planned to ensure that the green and leafy atmosphere of Overall Subi Centro was felt to be quite rapidly developing a Subiaco was echoed within Subi Centro. As a result the sense of place although to some it felt ‘bland’. residential streets have been described as lovely places to be with touches of real art. The lemon trees, for example, were The redevelopment was careful to preserve local heritage well known and often described. through design and art. A heritage study completed in 1995 identified key sites of cultural significance. In addition a photographic record, kept with the local authority, documents the industrial and working-class roots of Subiaco. Other “It’s principally qualified by being a examples reflect on the past in subtle and unexpected ways. ‘new place’. It’s not yet settled into For example, local streets are named after the Sisters of St. John of God who nursed victims of the typhoid epidemic in itself… such exquisite newness” the area during the late 19th century. Redevelopment Authority A heritage conservation plan protects the porcelain manufacturing legacy of AFC. Prepared in collaboration with the Heritage Council of WA, the plan safeguards the “I think the heritage of the area has preservation of the kiln and allows for interpretation spaces to been very thoughtfully integrated into display machinery, products and moulds from manufacturing. Subi Centro” Public art throughout Subi Centro preserves and reflects local heritage through the re-use and integration of industrial form industry Expert and materials. The Watershed located in the central green spine was fabricated using recycled materials from the former Humes pipe factory. The art piece symbolises and reminds us “Art does help with a sense of identity – of the industrial history of the area. it’s a way of making an area personal The public art program was considered to have a positive and relevant to the community” impact on the local community and helped to foster a sense of place within the redevelopment. A total of eight artworks were pRoject Consultant commissioned by the Authority, two more were installed as part of the State Government’s Percent for Art program and seven pieces were provided by private developers. “It has managed to integrate with the Local awareness of the public art in Subi Centro appears to be existing community, instead of looking low but as it grows so too will the knowledge and appreciation of Subiaco’s rich history. like the pimple on the pumpkin” industry Expert 13 “... it is the attention to detail that’s exceptional. The streetscapes, trees, the front of streets reclaimed for pedestrians” Project Consultant

Subi Centro is viewed as having beautiful built form as it is The centrepiece of Subi Centro is the green spine which built to human scale and there is an abundance of shady was considered to be a fantastic concept that significantly areas and pathways that meander through the area, inviting contributed to the sense of place and social cohesion. It is a people to walk around. While the majority of Subi Centro is stretch of parks designed as a shared garden to balance the thought to demonstrate harmony and cohesion, the retail area higher densities. A children’s play area was included and very of Subiaco Square, which was created on the land above well received as a significant community asset. The ‘wonderful’ and adjacent to the new underground railway station, was quality of the public open spaces fostered active recreation considered to have a sort of banality. and integrated well with what the community liked to do; walk the dog, run, cycle and barbecue. Subiaco Square has not evolved into the vibrant urban space that was hoped. The station canopy was designed to protect the platforms below but was felt to be problematic, interfering with views across the square and giving people less reason to “They need to be careful that it doesn’t linger. The open air station was designed for natural ventilation become too sanitised” but the great voids restrict use of the square. Train noise coming from the tunnel was also described as disruptive to the pRoject Consultant alfresco dining experience. The redevelopment paid close attention to fostering a sense “There are some people who say of safety and comfort. Principles to design out crime were integral to the planning. Parks and gardens used low planting [the Green Spine] is under activated for good lines of sight, residential housing overlooked public but when I see it, there are people spaces, streets and laneways were well lit and public and private spaces were clearly defined. everywhere out walking” Still some areas are considered to warrant revisiting. Roberts pRoject Consultant Road was not designed to human scale and as such was not perceived to be pedestrian-friendly and the corner of Juniper Bank Way and Centro Avenue was described as being difficult to navigate. The planned completion of the green spine should rectify the lack of a footpath along the western edge. Removing the rail barrier between communities was a major driver for Subi Centro. Sinking the railway line allowed for Subiaco Square and formed a strong connection to Rokeby Road and the surrounding suburbs. However, the redevelopment appears to have created more vibrancy wider than within Subi Centro itself. It was considered that successful activation of streets within the redevelopment required much higher densities than were planned. 14 subi centro A case study in urban revitalisation enhance environmental integrity

Enhance environmental integrity by supporting ecologically sustainable design, resource efficiency, recycling, renewable energy and protection of the local ecology.

Enhancing the environmental integrity of Subi Centro occurred The redevelopment also incorporated the State’s first across the entire redevelopment process. Environmental environmentally friendly home built specifically for educating remediation was carried out prior to redevelopment, the community through the demonstration of environmentally sustainable design and building practices were incorporated, friendly and energy efficient practices. The Subiaco Sustainable and recycling services were supplied by the local authority. Demonstration Home shows that an environmentally friendly and energy efficient home can also be architecturally The previous industrial uses left behind some contamination impressive, aesthetically pleasing and functional. Subi Centro from the manufacturing processes and gas storage. There was awarded the Housing Institute of Australia’s GreenSmart was lime and lead to be removed as well as tracks of rubbish Award in 2004 for facilitating the development. under the ground. Although the remediation exercise was viewed as being of less technical complexity than East Perth, The redevelopment continues to promote sustainable it was nevertheless a significant undertaking in its own right, development as a means of improving resource efficiency. with a huge volume that contained some nasty surprises. The Authority has planned for the installation of cutting edge Environmental remediation was undertaken to ensure these clean technologies at AFC. Subi Centro will play host to the first areas were suitable for redevelopment and was considered to precinct wide passive geothermal heat pump system in Western be first-class. Australia, which will help to regulate building temperatures within the precinct without mechanical intervention. “[SRA has] done an outstanding job of environmental remediation” “… people living there [AFC] will use 50% pRoject Consultant less water and 50% less energy than people across the road” pRoject Consultant The way we live and the resources we use affect the sustainability of our communities. Energy efficient building design was incorporated into Subi Centro to reduce the resource use of businesses and residents. The majority considered that Subi Centro invested well in design innovation and pushed the boundaries of sustainable development. Solar access, natural ventilation and summer shading were carefully considered through building design and street alignment. Water sensitive urban design principles were also incorporated. Rainwater was designed to be collected in water features throughout the green spine and used for irrigation. 15

Rainwater collection off roofs and streets will also be recycled “Sustainability, density, transit oriented, and reused within the precinct. These technologies will help to reduce the use of resources both within AFC and throughout mixing of land uses by Perth standards the redevelopment as a whole. our ‘model’ … has moved a series of Subi Centro was designed around transit-oriented envelopes and boundaries” development principles with pedestrian and public transport connections a key focus for the redevelopment. Planning Redevelopment Authority provided for a mixed-use community designed to maximise access and use of public transport and other sustainable forms of travel such as walking and cycling. These principles are no more apparent than in Subiaco Square. The square “[the residents] are was designed to accommodate higher density than elsewhere in the redevelopment and has been framed around public walking much more than transport to promote its use. While the private car remains the dominant mode of transport, ever outside work hours” residents have begun to reduce their car use. As of 2006 Redevelopment Authority car ownership in Subi Centro was 10 per cent lower than the Perth average. The shift towards using alternative modes of transport has reduced the carbon footprint of the redevelopment. Subi Centro was seen to have successfully broadened social ambitions to build sustainable communities within Western Australia. Subi Centro also improved pedestrian connections allowing residents to walk more within the community and use cars less for local trips. The streets were designed to encourage low speed traffic and safe, convenient access for all users. These design elements of Subi Centro did result in some travel behaviour changes and, as of 2006, walking was shown to be the second most frequent form of transport utilised by residents. 16 subi centro A case study in urban revitalisation enhance connectivity

Enhance connectivity by providing well designed places that support walking, cycling, and public transit so that residents and visitors can easily access services, activities and employment without sole reliance on the private motor vehicle.

Subi Centro was designed to encourage public transport use While it is not broadly acknowledged, Subi Centro has and decrease car use. Transit-oriented development principles delivered a modal shift away from car use. The average formed the basis of the master planning and ensured a mix of number of people catching the train per week at Subiaco uses within the community, easy access to public transport, Station nearly doubled from 1996 to 2006. The number of higher densities, comfortable walking environments and less residents walking to work increased by almost 10 per cent, car dependence. while the number of residents driving to work decreased by 10 per cent. The new community has the Subiaco Train Station at its centre surrounded by a square of higher density housing allowing for the greatest number of people to have access to the station. The AFC and Centro North precincts will add yet more density “Subi Centro has been a wonderful to the heart of the redevelopment, broadening the opportunity success - a case study in how well for people to live in easy reach of the station. For this reason, Subi Centro was viewed as the best example of transit- urban planning and public transport oriented development in Perth, if not nationally. can work… certainly there is a lot more Direct pedestrian connections help to maintain a activity than there used to be” reasonable walking distance to the station from much of the redevelopment. The continuous walking and cycle paths and Government the permeable street network were achieved by retaining control over the public realm. In 2005, His Royal Highness Prince Charles visited Western Australia and toured Subi “You don’t get sustainability Centro to view the sustainable travel initiatives. without density” The mix of uses within the redevelopment has placed parks, Redevelopment Authority shops and businesses within close proximity to people’s homes. The pedestrian network is viewed as high quality and safe, providing for easy local transport. Consequently Subi Cento “The station has been fantastic in terms residents are walking much more outside of office hours. of a being a commuter station, it The new station was felt to be beautifully designed, clean and comfortable and that it contributed to promoting public certainly helps with major events” transport use in Subi Centro. As a commuter station it proved industry Expert a remarkable success. The design quality offered a level of convenience, comfort and safety to commuters while still being able to cater for large crowds heading to Subiaco Oval. 17

Commuters have been known to walk up to 800 metres “You could see what was happening to access the station, often stopping at the supermarket on the way home from work. These behavioural changes with cars, we wanted a community demonstrate how Subi Centro has driven a cultural shift in using the trains” Perth, albeit slowly, away from car use. Redevelopment Authority One of the main focuses of the redevelopment was to improve connections between Subiaco and the surrounding suburbs. Initially the railway was a significant barrier to movement. “There are still lots of people using Sinking the railway created strong connections between neighbouring communities. Movement through the area was cars… The market dynamic of the time viewed to have improved significantly and it is now much means we didn’t get the commuters easier to get from Daglish to Subiaco via Subi Centro. Access to St John of God Hospital was also greatly enhanced. out but over time the choice is there” Subi Centro was considered to have ‘absolutely’ enhanced Redevelopment Authority connectivity in the local area. In 2006, car ownership in Subi Centro was recorded as being lower than the Perth average. Although sustainable travel formed an integral part of the redevelopment design principles, a clear parking management strategy was also needed. There was a view that the redevelopment sent mixed messages to residents as providing garages and street parking permits was perceived to encourage people to use their cars. While Perth requires a cultural step-change to fully embrace alternative modes of travel, more could have been done in Subi Centro to discourage car use. With the benefit of hindsight a closer working relationship with the local authority and a robust parking strategy may have prompted further reductions in car ownership. The dominant car culture in Perth was exacerbated in Subi Centro by the affluence of the resultant new community. People could afford to own their own cars and enjoyed using them. This has led to the view that a wider, richer demographic mix may have hastened the change away from the car. Others feel that it may be that the cultural change needed to radically reduce car use will take a generation. Still the local authority continues to promote public transport use within the area most recently through the introduction of a Subi Central Area Transit bus service. Some Subiaco businesses are also offering financial incentives for employees to car pool providing proof that the message of sustainable transport is slowly spreading. 18 subi centro A case study in urban revitalisation urban efficiency

Promote urban efficiency in the design and construction of infrastructure and buildings and through facilitating a critical mass of population and employment.

Subi Centro sought to revitalise an underutilised industrial For its time Subi Centro pushed the boundaries of what was area in Subiaco, the heart of Perth’s real estate “golden considered appropriate density for the inner city living. Despite triangle”. The area had very little diversity, limited public meeting the objective to create medium density development access and no quality open space. But there was potential Subi Centro was perceived in hindsight to be under-populated. with the train station, Rokeby Road retail strip and Subiaco Oval on the doorstep. The redevelopment presented a unique opportunity to enhance the urban efficiency of an inner city “Subi [Centro] was pioneering … suburb with excellent transport connections. architects and building designers joining A greater diversity of housing options was provided in Subi Centro than is evident across Perth. The redevelopment in designing housing of the next type” comprises a mix of housing styles including single homes, Redevelopment Authority townhouses and terraces, and apartments. It was considered to have been innovative in approach and to have delivered something new on very small lots and at multiple levels. The “We had to take account of government redevelopment of East Perth had established the market for higher density living and Subi Centro was able to build on this policy, particularly as we were within new housing trend. Although the housing styles were diverse, walking distance of the train station” some views indicated that adaptable and accessible housing could have been explored to enhance social diversity. Redevelopment Authority There has been a slight increase in social diversity over the years. The majority of residents are still home owners but from 2006 the numbers had dropped below the Perth average. At the same time people renting in Subi Centro increased to be approximately five per cent higher than the Perth average. The level of other tenure types like aged care was almost 10 per cent higher than the Perth average, due to the St Ives retirement village. Subiaco Square delivered an area of higher density apartments, increasing availability and acceptance of this housing type which was not common in Perth at that time. By 2006, more than 1,500 people were living in Subi Centro and the redevelopment was on track to meeting its population target of 2,000. As a result of the redevelopment the area was experiencing some of the highest housing growth rates in Perth. A main drawcard of the housing was the close proximity to cafes, supermarkets and retail shopping. People moved to Subi Centro to enjoy the ease and amenity of urban living. 19

Plans for more intense development had to be tempered as at the time community and local political opposition to higher “The conflict with the [local government] densities was strong. The concern was that the higher densities and community hampered progress to were not in keeping with the existing character of Subiaco. Poor relations with local stakeholders have continued to hamper the an extent. It’s a pity we didn’t achieve effective delivery of higher densities in Subi Centro. more density” Prior to redevelopment, the majority of the businesses were pRoject Consultant industrial and only 1,700 people were employed in the area. The redevelopment had delivered an extra 90,000 square metres of commercial floor space by 2002 and more than “I’d like to see small bars… that people doubled the number of businesses. As a result, the primary employment base shifted to office and small business could walk to that would act as… reasons including niche retail, cafes and design firms. The employment for the community to get together” base is now more conducive to the inner city location and community more respectful of residential amenity. As of 2006 more than 3,000 people were employed in Subi Centro. The mixed-use community created by the redevelopment “Centro Avenue doesn’t really included commercial, retail and residential. Securing Woolworths as an anchor tenant in Subiaco Square provided encourage people to walk along it… an immediate level of urban amenity and an appropriate all those commercial shop fronts are bookend to the specialty retail along Rokeby Road. Still some people felt that the redevelopment did not achieve the best closed at night and they’re not really mix of uses, particularly those that encourage evening activity. interesting to look at during the day.” Centro Avenue was raised as an area that warranted more industry Expert retail and business diversity. It was not considered to work very well as it is disjointed and off the beaten track. Subiaco Square was also seen as an awkward space due to the station voids. More active ground floor retail along Centro Avenue and even Roberts Road was thought to be an option for increasing activation levels. Overall the mix and density of retail throughout Subi Centro was not considered sufficient enough to activate the streets. 20 subi centro A case study in urban revitalisation economic well-being

Promote economic well-being by meeting market demand projections, providing opportunities for local business and emerging industries and general employment opportunities.

To deliver a viable urban village the redevelopment needed At the local level severance caused by the railway isolated to provide a variety of economic opportunities and community neighbouring suburbs from Subiaco’s retail precinct. Sinking services. Overall, Subi Centro was viewed as having done the railway created a vital north-south link that was later well in this regard. Most significantly Subi Centro managed to credited with the revitalisation of Rokeby Road. Shop owners counter the decline of Subiaco’s local economy. The decline were initially uneasy with the proposed retail, fearing the influx was evident in the early 1990s and characterised by a fall would negatively impact existing retail businesses. In actual in employment levels in the area. Between 1990 and 1997 fact the redevelopment sparked a retail renaissance at the employment in Subiaco halved from 2,000 to 1,000. Over northern end of Rokeby Road. this same period, the number of businesses decreased from around 2,200 to only 1,700. The Redevelopment Authority model gave the market surety “The whole of Subiaco [before the and government investment provided the confidence needed redevelopment] was going downhill, to attract significant private investment. Developers were given certainty over what and how much they could build. Density there was no further development requirements, building heights and plot ratios were clearly occurring… it had a limited amount to set out in design guidelines which also, and most importantly, defined the expected development yield. offer besides the pub” Office and retail locations were carefully considered and Redevelopment Authority commercial floor space and employment targets were set. The high demand for office space across Perth and the competitive commercial leases offered saw a quick uptake of the floor “There was no more growth possible space provided within the redevelopment area. The offer in Subiaco” encouraged new businesses to locate to Subiaco, revitalising the wider business district. By 2006, all commercial units were Government fully tenanted increasing office floor space by 90,000 square metres and doubling employment levels with over 3,000 employees working in the area. Subi Centro was seen to provide an alternative to working in West Perth or the city. Similarly there was a high demand for residential accommodation in Subi Centro. Close proximity to the city pushed house prices above the Perth average. Today, Subi Centro remains popular with professionals wanting easy access to the CBD, representing over 90 per cent of residents. Consequently local land values have continued to grow. 21 “Local economic well-being has been an interesting struggle, the location of commercial offices impacts on the success of retail and retail survives with higher density” community

“[Subiaco Square] is not a great urban space” industry Expert

Conversely there was less consensus over whether a thriving business community was created within the redevelopment. Low residential densities and an awkward mix of retail were said to be contributing factors. The thought was that Subi Centro would have been more vibrant with more people and more retail. The redevelopment may also have benefited from having flexible spaces, say on the ground floor of office buildings, to foster small galleries and specialty retail. There are mixed opinions about how well Subiaco Square worked. Despite the presence of anchor tenants like Woolworths and Cafe Café, retail in the precinct has struggled. The existing niche retail and the lack of a bustling night economy has hampered activity within Subiaco Square and resulted in a high turnover of businesses. The configuration of the station itself also causes problems. The ventilation holes prevent the square from being used for community events and the trains can be noisy, which interferes with the amenity of the area. There was always going to be a trade off between having a naturally ventilated station and a fully functioning public square. The retail arcade off Subiaco Square is not considered to be properly activated. The arcade currently leads to a dead end so people are not drawn through. This presents a difficult environment for retailers beyond the anchor stores to thrive. The build out of Centro North at the other end of the arcade should help improve the situation. The development will create a connection between the station and St John of God Hospital, acting as a prominent thoroughfare and attracting people to the arcade. 22 subi centro A case study in urban revitalisation social inclusion

Promote social inclusion by requiring diverse and affordable housing and by supporting community infrastructure, activities and opportunities for visitors to socialise.

Allowing for all people to access and feel comfortable in A reasonable amount of social or affordable housing was a place means universal access, social and affordable considered to have been delivered in Subi Centro. The housing and stakeholder engagement. In delivery, however, redevelopment was viewed to have done no worse than most there was some thought that the redevelopment fostered a and better than some in provision of affordable and social monoculture. The majority of residents were professionals housing. Subi Centro was by and large viewed as having with high incomes and there were low numbers of families delivered a credible effort against a backdrop of considerable with children living in the area. However, Subi Centro was community opposition. The affordable and social housing that not entirely homogenous. The proportion of households who was delivered gave Subi Centro a richer demographic mix, speak a language other than English at home was almost however, the provision of more social and affordable housing double the Perth average. should be an area of future focus. Subi Centro boasted greater housing choice than was generally seen throughout Perth, however, the success of the redevelopment was not without consequence and high “It is a bit of a myth that there’s no house prices resulted. The challenge then faced was how to affordable housing in Subi …it’s there – make Subi Centro accessible to all when house prices made it unaffordable to lower income groups. To combat this, and as it should be promoted more extensively” the redevelopment was partly funded by the Building Better pRoject Consultant Cities program, Subi Centro had a remit to provide social and affordable housing. The redevelopment sought to achieve this through specific government housing projects, joint ventures “There is a little bit of affordable housing and developer bonuses. there …but having a diverse offer for Delivery of affordable housing in Subi Centro was initially hampered by a lack of clarity in the planning framework. While residents is really important” affordable and social housing was a planning concern, at the industry Expert time there was very little knowledge about how to implement it and a policy outlining mandatory targets was not adopted until 2010. So far, 33 affordable and social housing projects have been delivered across Subi Centro including shared equity housing, aged care and special needs developments. A large portion of the affordable and social housing in Subi Centro was delivered before mandatory targets were set. 23

“It’s about bringing the community forward with the vision and explaining why this is not threatening” Redevelopment Authority

Ensuring Subi Centro was universally accessible was a key Problems with stakeholders might have been fewer if the aspect of social inclusion and Subi Centro was awarded Authority had been better at sharing the vision. Community a Commendation in the Accessible Communities Awards opposition to increased densities is a good example. The in 2004. Public spaces were designed according to the Authority didn’t give the community ownership or understanding Australian standards for disability access and the Disability of the vision and as a result the community did not accept the Services Community Reference Group from the local proposal. Social inclusion should extend to repeat involvement authority also had input. Universal access within Subi Centro of community to help them own the vision. Local representation was considered to be highly exceptional. The ability of the is critical to success and should be a founding principle. The redevelopment to sustain focus and pay attention to detail Authority made many efforts at mending those relationships with was clearly expressed through the universal access initiatives varying degrees of success. Improved relationships between all integrated into Subi Centro. Details including the set of the parties, with shared ambitions for the project, was found to be curbing against the roadway, colour coded and textured road essential in urban redevelopment. and footpath surfaces, level access crossings and voice activated lifts brought Subi Centro above national standards “In a genteel community, we are not for universal access. amenable to the exercise of despotic The local authority originally agreed to the formation of a redevelopment authority because it was regarded at the powers – (we see it) as the job of the time as the most effective means to redevelopment. The planners to develop vision sensitively, redevelopment authority model allowed decisions to be made without the need to consult and hence potentially speeding up a vision shared by the community” the process. However, the freedom to act came at the cost of Redevelopment Authority support from local stakeholders. The relationships between the Authority, the local government and the community were described as compromising ambitions of the project. The “I don’t think the SRA was disingenuous burden of these relationships caused the Authority a loss of early momentum and energy. Stakeholder acceptance of about telling the community what was public art was also contentious. The implementation of the going to happen and it is unfortunate that public art program was thought to be rushed and some felt that the suitability of works to the public realm and ongoing it has gotten to this low level of debate” cost were not always well considered. A longer term view industry Expert that considers the handover of responsibilities to the local government is necessary to ensure support. 24 subi centro A case study in urban revitalisation project learnings

You have to do the planning hard yards Sense of Place

Subi Centro was designed as a medium-density mixed-use “It does need time to settle in – such community offering a good standard of living and urban amenity, exquisite newness” the opportunity to work within walking distance of home and ready access to public transport. Redevelopment success Redevelopment Authority stemmed partly from the Authority having done the planning hard yards and taking a multi-disciplinary approach that really The redevelopment created a picturesque and comfortable thought about how people would live in the new community. environment, with a beautiful built form and exceptional open spaces, which feels safe. Industrial heritage has been preserved through aspects including thoughtfully integrated public artworks, street names and a photographic history of “Subi Centro learned the area. Subi Centro still lacks the required activation levels to be from East Perth but has described as vibrant, yet is seen by many to be developing an individual sense of place. However, the redevelopment done it much better” is young and still settling into its new identity. Subi Centro Redevelopment Authority has done reasonably well in fostering a sense of place. The key lesson here was the need for greater density and place management to ensure activation.

Despite suggestions that the redevelopment did not quite evolve into the urban village initially envisaged, the Authority did deliver on its vision of reconnecting Subiaco. Subi Centro was seen as having built on the lessons learnt at Claisebrook Village, particularly around revitalised local economy. Subi Centro provides a good model of medium-density living, beautiful public spaces, greater diversity and choice. Overall, there was broad support for the existence and abilities of redevelopment authorities and a strong belief that they get the job done. 25

Environmental Integrity Enhanced Connectivity “(SRA has) done an outstanding job of “Providing parking for two cars… environmental remediation” encourages people to use their cars” pRoject Consultant industry Expert

There’s a widely held perception that the redevelopment Subi Centro performed exceptionally well in enhancing performed exceptionally well at enhancing environmental the connectivity throughout Subi Centro and creating a integrity. Subi Centro achieved very high environmental transit-oriented development. The redevelopment enhanced standards for urban redevelopment through its remediation connectivity both on a very local, near local and metropolitan activities, master planning and building practices. Energy scale. On the very local scale connectivity is assisted by the efficient building design, incorporation of water sensitive urban green spine – a high quality pedestrian environment that design principles and the planned application of cutting edge feels safe to be in and encourages residents (and visitors) clean technologies have all enhanced the environmental to actively use the space. Locally the improved integrity of the redevelopment. north-south connections revitalised Rokeby Road and provided connections between Subiaco and the neighbouring suburbs of Daglish, Jolimont, Leederville and Wembley. At the metropolitan scale the redevelopment resulted in many more people catching the train into Fremantle and Perth. While cars were still dominant in Subi Centro their use had decreased and use of alternative transport had increased. The key lesson is that a comprehensive strategy is needed to reduce car use. Benchmark developments around the world are beginning to unbundle parking from housing, providing for the car free household. Removing minimum residential parking requirements may finally encourage Perth residents to more fully adopt alternative transport and drop the car. 26 subi centro A case study in urban revitalisation project learnings

Urban Efficiency Economic Well-being “If it is an urban village, then it needs to “Local economic well-being has been an be a very crowded place” interesting struggle” community community

The Authority performed reasonably well in promoting urban Overall, Subi Centro was viewed as having done reasonably efficiency, successfully transforming a light industrial estate well at promoting local economic well-being. The level of into a medium-density mixed-use development. Subi Centro economic well-being that was achieved varied at different was under-populated and this hampered the delivery of urban scales. At the macro scale, Subi Centro was a financially efficiency. Subi Centro’s performance in delivering greater successful project, attracting significant private sector density must be considered against a backdrop of entrenched, investment with local land values continuing to grow. The well-organised, community opposition. The key lesson here is redevelopment has shown a good return on investment for that greater density is needed to promote vibrancy. both public and private investors. At the local level redevelopment of Subi Centro has revitalised Rokeby Road and increased business diversity in the area. At the micro level, however, the vibrancy of Subiaco Square was considered to be lacking and economic well-being within the redevelopment struggled. The key lessons here were that greater local densities, a better mix of retail and office space and a more vibrant mix of business types were necessary to promote economic well-being. Ongoing place management over some retail spaces could have allowed delivery of retail businesses with a broader appeal, helping to foster vitality. 27

Social Inclusion Don’t lose momentum Subi Centro delivered a diverse range of housing types and Diffi cult stakeholder relationships hampered delivery of the public spaces and buildings were thoughtfully designed to vision and caused the Authority to lose some momentum ensure universal access. However, affordable and social towards the fi nal stages of the redevelopment. The example housing delivery and stakeholder management have not yet of AFC was given, which was felt should have been delivered reached their full potential. Overall Subi Centro did less well three years ago. The key lesson here was that successful at promoting social inclusion, and this is where the biggest stakeholder engagement would have helped the Authority to lessons of the redevelopment can be drawn. ‘not lose momentum’. A diversity of housing groups You have to include local representation Some affordable and social housing was achieved, however, A lesson was also drawn from the range of stakeholders delivery was hampered by a lack of clarity in the planning engaged during redevelopment. Local representation is a framework. The experience fed into creating the Authority’s necessary element of achieving good outcomes, and there Affordable and Diverse Housing Policy in 2010. A key is a strong need for the local government specifi cally to be lesson was the need to involve diversity of housing groups repeatedly involved in the redevelopment vision. The key and for different models of affordable housing to be fully lesson is that better inclusion of local representation may have explored to add robustness to the delivery of affordable avoided the diffi cult relationships which hampered delivery of and social housing. the Subi Centro vision. This retrospect on Subi Centro is the culmination of many people’s time and eff ort. The SRA wishes We should promote it more A small and nimble management team to acknowledge the generosity and time of all who There was a view that the Authority’s efforts in delivering The Authority’s management and delivery team was participated and to thank them, most sincerely, for social and affordable housing were not well-recognised, nor all considered to be more streamlined than the EPRA model. The their involvement. the diffi culties in delivery well-understood. The key lesson was SRA was felt to be highly successful and positively lacking In particular independent interviews were held with that, as part of its marketing efforts, the social and affordable in bureaucracy. The main lesson drawn from the overall key stakeholders namely government fi gures, industry components of the project should be better promoted. redevelopment process was that a nimble management team experts, project consultants, community groups and and an organisation without too many layers was integral to a You’ve got to bring your stakeholders successful redevelopment. key personnel of the Redevelopment Authority (past and present). All were unfailingly expansive in their along with you Overall, Subi Centro has shown that creating a vibrant urban village with a sense of place, which utilises urban responses, patient in their explanations and very Subi Centro was characterised by diffi cult relationships with land effi ciently, is well connected, and healthy in terms of its generous with their time. the local government and community. This outlined the need environment economy and community takes time, dedication, for more effective stakeholder engagement. Stakeholders Views expressed throughout this document are and healthy stakeholder relationship management. While the were only engaged at the beginning of the project and in some those of the key stakeholders who participated in redevelopment goals were not met overnight the Authority respects were excluded from the vision as the redevelopment the independent interviews. has placed the building blocks that will allow Subi Centro to moved forward. The key lesson is that achieving social achieve them over time. inclusion in future redevelopments may need repeat engagement of stakeholders in the redevelopment vision.

The views recorded in this document are the personal views of the peoples interviewed and are not the views of SRA or endorsed by SRA. At times in this document SRA has refl ected upon these views. By this refl ection SRA is not representing that the views are an accurate statement of the development or issues that arose during the development or that currently exist. SRA therefore reserves the right to withdraw or modify part or all of this case study. This document does not contain legal or fi nancial advice. Any person considering investing in the Subiaco Redevelopment Authority Project Areas should not rely upon statements in this document in making a decision. T 1800 008 686 W sra.wa.gov.au

RTF | Rethinking The Future

Urban Regeneration: A Case of Cheonggyecheon River

a case study in urban revitalisation

Project Location: Seoul, South Korea Timeline: 2002 -2005 (3 years and 6 months) Architects: Mikyoung Kim Design Client: City of Seoul

Seoul , the capital of South Korea, is confronted with many significant issues. The effects of overpopulation and urbanization have resulted in a multitude of challenges, including scarcities in housing, transportation, and parking facilities, as well as the worsening of pollution levels and the unsustainable exploitation of resources. It is always gridlocked. Over a decade, urban and industrial development suffocated the remaining traces of nature in the city’s heart, notably in the congested and flat CBD.

Hoping to spur economic growth by providing new recreation options to residents and solve the city’s chronic runoff problems, The Seoul Metropolitan Government decided to do something bold. An initiative to transform the urban environment of the massive arterial highway by removing it and replacing it with a long, meandering park and stormwater mitigation system.

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Degradation of the River

The Cheonggyecheon River is situated amid a historically significant neighbourhood. The first deterioration of the site can be traced back to the 15th century when many factors contributed to its decline. These factors include the expansion and depth of the river channel, the building of a stone and wood embankment, the use of the watercourse as a means of waste disposal, and the heightened sedimentation caused by the deforestation of the surrounding regions. Despite undergoing continuous dredging and modifications throughout the twentieth century, the river channel in the 1950s remained mostly a seasonal stream used by individuals for laundry purposes and as a recreational space for children.

As Seoul underwent a gradual transformation from a mostly rural area to a sprawling East Asian city, the Cheonggyecheon, referred to as the “clear valley stream,” deteriorated into a polluted waterway. The primary function of the stream in question was to serve as Seoul’s central sewage and drainage system, primarily designed to mitigate the risk of flooding.

By the year 1970, the area next to the river was characterized by the presence of slums. Additionally, the quality of the water in the river deteriorated with time due to a series of human interventions, including the process of channelization followed by the application of a concrete layer.

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With the rapid progression of urbanization and industry, along with the widespread adoption of automobiles, the riverbed transformed, being repurposed into a 6-kilometre roadway. Above this roadway, a 5.8-kilometre elevated highway was constructed, boasting six lanes to accommodate the increasing vehicular traffic. Before the process of restoration began, the daily volume of vehicles that passed through this particular section amounted to almost 168,000. Among them, a significant proportion of 62.5% constituted vehicles engaged in traffic.

The ramifications of the very crowded transportation system along Cheonggye Street have become more severe. The levels of air pollution, namely criterion pollutants, were found to be much higher than the permitted thresholds. Additionally, the pollution caused by nitrogen oxide is above the established environmental air quality guideline for the city of Seoul. In addition, the concentrations of benzene, a volatile organic compound (VOC) known for its carcinogenic properties, were found to be elevated.

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According to a health awareness study conducted among those living or employed near Cheonggyecheon, it was observed that the prevalence of respiratory disorders was more than twice as high compared to individuals residing in other geographical regions (SDI, 2003A). In conjunction with atmospheric pollution, the noise pollution observed in this particular region exceeded the prescribed benchmarks for commercial zones, hence posing a significant impediment to the creation of a desirable residential and occupational milieu.

a case study in urban revitalisation

In the year 2000, an engineering study was conducted which revealed the presence of structural deficiencies in the aforementioned roadways, hence highlighting the imperative need for a significant rehabilitation endeavour. The degradation and contamination of the Cheonggyecheon River stream may be attributed to the processes of urbanization, transportation , and industrial activities.

The objectives established for the urban revitalization initiative included the restoration of Cheonggyecheon’s natural ecosystem and the development of a public space that prioritizes human needs and experiences. 

The proposed project included a range of objectives, including the restoration and landscaping of the stream, the establishment of measures to ensure water resource sustainability, the implementation of sewage treatment systems, the management of traffic flow, the construction of bridges across the river, the preservation and restoration of historical assets, and the effective resolution of social problems. 

In addition to the aforementioned, the plan was formulated with the objectives of the restoration of cultural assets, as well as the conservation of all dug heritage pieces throughout the building process. Enhance the overall quality of air, water, and living conditions. The objective was also to establish a connection between the two geographically divided areas due to the river.

In the year 2003, the river underwent a process of re-exposure and was subsequently designated as the central element of a broader initiative aimed at revitalizing the urban environment. The rerouting of traffic, construction of bridges across the river, establishment of public parks and recreational areas, and renovation of nearby places of historical and cultural significance were undertaken. The enhancement of environmental circumstances resulted in the establishment of a focal point that has value in historical context and possesses aesthetic allure.

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The waste that was generated as a result of the destruction was subjected to recycling processes and then used again. The process of urban redevelopment included the transformation of the site into a human-centric and ecologically conscious area, with a shoreline and pathways that run alongside the stream. Embankments were constructed to mitigate the most severe floods that the city may experience during the next two centuries. A total of 13.5 meters were designated to accommodate walkways, two-lane unidirectional roadways, and loading/unloading zones situated on both sides of the stream. A whole sum of 22 bridges was constructed over the Cheonggyecheon, including 5 bridges designated for pedestrian use and 17 bridges designed for motor vehicle traffic.

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The stream that has been restored can be accessed from a total of 17 different sites. Terraces and lower-level pavements were constructed along both the top and lower segments of the stream, while the middle part was specifically planned to serve as an environmentally sustainable area. The incorporation of river parks and public art in many sites was undertaken to establish a platform for hosting performances and cultural events, while simultaneously augmenting the total capacity for public engagement and pleasure within the newly developed area.

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The process of enhancing the aesthetic appeal of historic streets and structures was undertaken, with particular attention given to the restoration of the Gwangtonggyo Bridge. Originally constructed in 1410 to span the Cheonggyecheon Stream, this bridge was meticulously restored to its former condition, incurring a substantial expenditure of more than $5.9 million.

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  • Amber, P. (2011) ChonGae Canal Restoration Project / mikyoung Kim design, ArchDaily. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/174242/chongae-canal-restoration-project-mikyoung-kim-design .
  • Case study: Cheonggyecheon; Seoul, Korea (2017) Global Designing Cities Initiative. Available at: https://globaldesigningcities.org/publication/global-street-design-guide/streets/special-conditions/elevated-structure-removal/case-study-cheonggyecheon-seoul-korea/ .
  • Cheonggyecheon (2015) Photography Life. Available at: https://photographylife.com/photo-spots/cheonggyecheon .
  • Cheonggyecheon Stream restoration project (2011) Landscapeperformance.org. Available at: https://www.landscapeperformance.org/case-study-briefs/cheonggyecheon-stream-restoration-project .
  • McAskie, L. (2021) From emissions to Edens: Our top 5 car-free urban transformations, Citychangers.org – Home Base for Urban Shapers. CityChangers.org. Available at: https://citychangers.org/top-5-car-free-urban-transformations/?cn-reloaded=1 .
  • River restoration and conservation (no date) Coolgeography.co.uk. Available at: https://www.coolgeography.co.uk/advanced/River_Restoration_Conservation.php .
  • Seoul (no date) Worldbank.org. Available at: https://urban-regeneration.worldbank.org/Seoul .
  • South Korea: Restoration of the cheonggyecheon river in downtown Seoul (no date) Ser-rrc.org. Available at: https://www.ser-rrc.org/project/south-korea-restoration-of-the-cheonggyecheon-river-in-downtown-seoul/ .
  • studioTECHNE (2018) Field notes: Tom goes to Seoul, studio TECHNE | architects. Available at: https://www.technearchitects.com/blogs/2018/12/12/toms-field-notes-from-seoul (Accessed: August 6, 2023).

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Australia and China Perspectives on Urban Regeneration and Rural Revitalization

Australia and China Perspectives on Urban Regeneration and Rural Revitalization

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This edited volume reviews important contemporary issues through relevant case studies and research in China and Australia, such as the challenges posed by climate change, the development of eco-urban design, research on sustainable habitats and the relationship between ecology, green architecture and city regeneration, as well as, in general, the future of the city in the new millennium.

The authors represent a broad selection of international experts, young scholars and established academics who discuss themes related to urban–rural destruction and economic and spatial regeneration techniques, the sustainable reconversion of natural landscapes and eco-urban design in the context of the current evolution of architectural and urbanism practice. The book aims to explain the conditions in which the contemporary debate about urban regeneration and rural revitalisation has developed in Australia and China, presented by different theoretical and methodological perspectives. It also provides a multifaceted and critical analysis of relevant case studies and urban experiences in Australia and China, focusing on environmental disruption, resized urban interventions and the need for more efficient and sustainable forms of regeneration and urban renewal practice in urban–rural contexts.

This book will be an invaluable resource for architects, planners, architectural and urban historians, geographers, and scholars interested in modern Australian and Chinese architecture and urbanism.


Chapter | 8  pages, introduction, chapter 1 | 19  pages, whither the new town in contemporary australian planning, chapter 2 | 25  pages, new opportunities for second-tier cities, chapter 3 | 19  pages, the urbanisation of china and australia, chapter 4 | 14  pages, the role of water bodies in the placemaking of kunming city, south-west china, chapter 5 | 24  pages, the evolution of urbanisation and planning practices, chapter 6 | 34  pages, bridging rural and urban disconnections, chapter 7 | 16  pages, transportation transformation towards urban renaissance, chapter 8 | 20  pages, culture-led rural revitalisation in chinese intermediary cities, chapter 9 | 14  pages, design research of civic-commercial space, chapter 10 | 18  pages, sustainable soundscape design during the regeneration of urban public spaces, chapter 11 | 13  pages, country park and ecological restoration in shanghai's rural revitalisation, chapter 12 | 18  pages, former industrial waterfronts as laboratories for sustainable urban planning, chapter 13 | 14  pages, a review of research on thermal comfort in rural houses in china, chapter 14 | 17  pages, ultra square, chapter 15 | 16  pages, the linkage mechanism of integrating the planning, construction, management and service of indemnificatory rental housing in shanghai, chapter 16 | 19  pages, impact factors of authenticity experience and renewal strategies of touristic spaces in a historic district based on grounded theory.

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  • DOI: 10.1079/tourism.2024.0057
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Placemaking Perspective and Determinants of Tourism: A Case Study in a Creative Design City in Brazil

  • E. Mediotte , M. Emmendoerfer , Thiago Duarte Pimentel
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Comprehensive land consolidation as a development strategy for rural revitalization: the political ecology mechanisms and benefits of the pastoral complex.

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Chen, B.; Huang, Z.; He, W.; Wang, M. Comprehensive Land Consolidation as a Development Strategy for Rural Revitalization: The Political Ecology Mechanisms and Benefits of the Pastoral Complex. Land 2024 , 13 , 897. https://doi.org/10.3390/land13060897

Chen B, Huang Z, He W, Wang M. Comprehensive Land Consolidation as a Development Strategy for Rural Revitalization: The Political Ecology Mechanisms and Benefits of the Pastoral Complex. Land . 2024; 13(6):897. https://doi.org/10.3390/land13060897

Chen, Borui, Zirou Huang, Wei He, and Min Wang. 2024. "Comprehensive Land Consolidation as a Development Strategy for Rural Revitalization: The Political Ecology Mechanisms and Benefits of the Pastoral Complex" Land 13, no. 6: 897. https://doi.org/10.3390/land13060897

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Impact of land use and rainfall change on runoff and flood resilience of an urban environment: a case study of Chennai City, India

  • Original Paper
  • Published: 10 June 2024
  • Volume 17 , article number  208 , ( 2024 )

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a case study in urban revitalisation

  • Asheesh Sharma   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-5924-1912 1 ,
  • Mandeep Poonia   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-5383-3477 2 ,
  • Ankush Rai 2 ,
  • Rajesh B. Biniwale 2 ,
  • Ashish Tiwari 3 ,
  • Sagar Lachure 3 ,
  • Franziska Tuegel 4 ,
  • Ekkehard Holzbecher 5 &
  • Reinhard Hinkelmann 6  

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Urban flooding can differ significantly from rural flooding due to the influence of rapidly changing land use and rainfall patterns on runoff in urban areas. Consequently, understanding and managing urban flooding necessitate a comprehensive grasp of these influential factors. This study focuses on assessing the impact of land use and rainfall changes on runoff and flood resilience in urban areas of Chennai, India, utilizing the InVEST-UFRM model. The research includes an evaluation of flood risk and potential damage to building infrastructure, examining 14 sub-basins within the study area with diverse land use and rainfall depths for 2015, 2020, and 2025. Observed rainfall and land use data were employed for 2015 and 2020, while future rainfall data relied on Global Circulation Models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project-6 (CMIP6) outputs and QGIS MOLUSCE plugin predicted land use for 2025. The study identified that the change in land use had a more significant impact on runoff than the temporal change in rainfall amount. Notably, the reduction of water bodies in the study area emerged as a major contributing factor to excessive runoff. The estimated maximum potential damage to built infrastructure in the study area reached approximately 10 billion USD. This research provides valuable insights into urban flood resilience and the impact of land use and rainfall changes and proposes effective measures for flood adaptation and mitigation. The study findings can serve as essential tools for urban planners in an effective management of urban floods in similar regions as investigated here.

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The work is a part of in-house research on the data generated during regular analysis work at CSIR-NEERI, Nagpur. The authors would like to thank the Director, CSIR-NEERI, for providing permission to carry out this study.

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Asheesh Sharma

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Mandeep Poonia, Ankush Rai & Rajesh B. Biniwale

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Ashish Tiwari & Sagar Lachure

Technical University Berlin (TU Berlin), Berlin, Germany

Franziska Tuegel

German University of Technology in Oman (Gutech), Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

Ekkehard Holzbecher

Chair of Water Resources Management and Modeling of Hydrosystems, Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin), Berlin, Germany

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Sharma, A., Poonia, M., Rai, A. et al. Impact of land use and rainfall change on runoff and flood resilience of an urban environment: a case study of Chennai City, India. Arab J Geosci 17 , 208 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-024-11985-6

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The Continuity Of Shinto Theatrical Dance in Aging Society Era: Case Study Of Kagura Dance Revitalization in Matsumae City Hokkaido

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a case study in urban revitalisation

The Kagura dance is a sacred, theatrical dance to entertain the Shinto gods. In several areas, including the city of Matsumae, Hokkaido island, this dance is threatened with extinction due to a lack of the next generation. Using an ethnographic approach, this research aims to describe the development of the Kagura dance and efforts to revitalize the dance amidst the aging society phenomenon that has hit Japan. The data collection techniques used were observation and in-depth interviews. Researchers observed the preparation process for the dance festival for six months and conducted interviews with Shinto priests, local Education and Culture Service employees, and hotel employees to gather data. The research results show that the potential extinction of the Kagura dance is mainly caused by the reduction in the young population because most of the population urbanizes to study and work in big cities. The revitalization strategy that has been carried out is  establishing  the  Kagura  Matsumae  preservation body which oversees the Matsumae shrine, the Kagura Kiyobe Preservation Society, the Haraguchi Preservation Society, and teaching the locality of Matsumae City from elementary to middle school students. The effort has a positive impact on student's awareness of preserving Kagura dance. Some students have joined and become the main members of the Kagura Preservation Body. Since the majority of people moved to the urban areas, the revitalization effort has not been completely successful. However, it can be seen that the city government's awareness and efforts are very high to maintain traditional culture.

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Planning for the Revitalisation of a Historic Town Centre Case Study: Mahebourg

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