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Sustainable urban renewal

Sustainable urban renewal

By Óscar Arranz Videla

These modifications do not always respond to the interests of the citizens living in these neighborhoods, but rather to real estate speculation that ends up expelling the traditional neighbors and causing inequality. This phenomenon is known as gentrification.

The sociologist Daniel Sorando and the architect Álvaro Ardura, authors of the book ’First we take Manhattan. The creative destruction of cities' has divided the gentrification process, which translates as' gentrification 'or' elitization ', into four stages: abandonment, stigma, regeneration and commodification.

Many of the areas now reformed were marginalized for a long time. The modernization of the neighborhoods brings with it the increase in prices that attracts people with higher incomes, renovated buildings and new businesses. This process does not affect an increase in the quality of life of the inhabitants who lived in these before, but rather their expulsion. Many of them are elderly who cannot cope with the rapidly changing cost of living.

This phenomenon does not only occur in metropolises. A study by the University of Chile states that in Latin America, 48% of medium-size cities have gentrification processes underway. Some of these cities suffered natural catastrophes, and it is in the reconstruction when it is used to make a remodeling that alters the structure of the neighborhoods, its urban design and the social character that characterized it, causing inequality in the population, which is partly seen displaced to other areas.

Cities play a fundamental role in the fulfillment of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Among its objectives is to achieve cities with fair, inclusive and sustainable development. Public investment and the development of policies that integrate and respect neighborhoods are essential to avoid the phenomenon of gentrification.

Social housing policies away from commercialization are key in the reform of the least enriched neighborhoods, without moving the problem elsewhere and so that the renovation of the neighborhoods is not synonymous with expulsion, but with recovery.

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Video: Building liveability: Copenhagens sustainable urban development (May 2021).