Globally, urban regeneration is a hot topic and something that will skyrocket in 2019. One only needs to look at Singapore’s successful Marina Bay project constructed on reclaimed land. The area has seen a vibrant resurgence thanks to a thoughtful plan featuring fresh housing options and plenty of new dining, retail and world-class companies setting down roots.
It’s no secret that cities encounter all kinds of challenges, and deterioration is one of the more difficult problems to remedy. In the United Kingdom, urban regeneration is paying off as both the public and private sectors work together for creative improvements to infrastructure, housing and the like to keep pace with an ever-changing world.
A fine example is Westfield Stratford City. Talks of redevelopment took a long time to see fruition, but today, it is an amazing site. Westfield Stratford City wears the title of the largest urban shopping and leisure destination in Europe. Luxury fashion and home and lifestyle brands are just a few options. There are some 300 shops and more than 70 restaurants, a bowling alley, nice hotels and a casino. It’s a upcoming place that has become a new London destination. Before all of that, the area was an unsightly landfill.
The success of the huge development came down to public money used for modern infrastructure in designing a gateway to the Olympic Park. Then, private investors joined in to create the massive plan that has provided much prosperity and opportunity to East London.
Another part of London, namely in the Camden area, is seeing urban regeneration unfold with the HS2 project, and again, transport links are key. HS2 is a high-speed railway under construction in the U.K. When it is completed (phase 1 in 2026), the super-hub for London will directly connect the city, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds and Manchester. Many are calling the massive project “the backbone of Britain’s transport network.”
Both the public and private sector are collaborating on the complicated process to mitigate risk and safeguard the rail operations. It comes down to an integrated solution, and that is how the U.K. is succeeding in its latest regeneration efforts. Full community involvement is essential when it comes to significant projects that modernize a large city and keep the community’s identity intact.