Urbanization is growing rapidly. For the first time in history, more than half the world’s population lives in cities, with 90 percent of urban growth taking place in the developing world. This unprecedented growth creates a pressing demand for local governments in developing countries to expend and upgrade the infrastructure and public services to support economic and social development. Such investments require capital that often far exceeds available public resources. The unavailability of capital, in turn, puts a premium on the need for local governments to prioritize their investment decisions.
Cities need to squeeze more value from existing assets, increase return on public investments and look into the two main ways to increase value:
1. Increase impact (from one-way channel, to multiple channel): i.e., invest in floor protection and thereby increase value of land
2. Increase intensity: Intensity means that a benefit the product or service delivers actually does so with more strength, power, or potency.
Moreover, in the context of limited public resources, capital investment strategies need to be coordinated with land use plans to efficiently build infrastructure and enhance service delivery to citizens and businesses, particularly to the urban poor.
Urban regeneration can help cities address the rising demand for land by densifying existing urban cores, particularly pockets of underused or disinvested land. Higher density is associated with economic growth and social integration. More dense, transit-friendly cities also means lower carbon emissions and less pollution, and contributes to increased resilience. Urban Regeneration leverages the value created through the transformation from underused areas to higher use, helping to cover public costs associated with Urban Regeneration infrastructure investments.