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5 Reasons Why Urban Renewal is So Important to the City ...

5 Reasons Why Urban Renewal is So Important to the City of Richmond, Virginia

Many communities go to great extremes to revitalize their cities, like destroying abandoned homes within a one-mile radius, or by developing high-speed rails along the center of a neighborhood. However, what has become clear is that most future redevelopment within a city usually involves some sort of urban renewal. Thus, urban renewal is considered critical

by Jamaal Davis October 12, 2012 3 comments

Many communities go to great extremes to revitalize their cities, like destroying abandoned homes within a one-mile radius, or by developing high-speed rails along the center of a neighborhood. However, what has become clear is that most future redevelopment within a city usually involves some sort of urban renewal. Thus, urban renewal is considered critical to sustainability and neighborhood vitality.

Whether you believe this or not, what is painfully clear is that urban renewal projects are vital components in any city’s urban planning. For this reason, places like Richmond, Virginia have developed urban design plans that help to define what problems the city currently faces and what measures need to be taken to address these issues.

Recently, the contemporary planning proposals of such plans as The Richmond Virginia Master Plan, The Richmond Riverfront Plan, and the Capital Improvement Plan, have given the city 5 major reasons why future urban planning projects are an important factor in Richmond, Virginia’s growth.

1. Historic Preservation

Richmond, Virginia has been able to capitalize on its’ rich history by removing blighted structures in historic Church Hill and by remodeling other dilapidated buildings and homes in other neighborhoods. This has brought tourism dollars back to the city.

2. Slum Clearance

The demolition of slum areas like Dove Court and the proposed demolition and revitalization of Gilpin Court has created new interest throughout the city and within the neighborhood.

3. Reduce Crime

The five-year decline in major crimes throughout the city of Richmond has further shown that the creation of city renewal objectives can work over time.

4. Improving Housing Stock

The development of such projects as the Rockets Landing neighborhood contemporary development has created a partnership among neighboring localities while also involving some type of creative modern architecture.

5. Economic Vibrancy

Richmond has seen more economic vibrancy on downtown Broad Street since the Hilton Hotel, the Virginia Commonwealth University’s student housing complex and the revitalized National Theater have all come to the area.

Why do you think urban renewal is important? Share your thoughts and your city's stories in the comments area below. 

Credits: Images and data linked to sources. Updated January 25, 2018.

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Jamaal Davis has lived in Richmond, Virginia for over 37 years, where he was born and raised. He studied Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Commonwealth University. His interests in urban planning began in the low-income neighborhoods of Southsi...

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