Redevelopmentis any new construction on a site that has pre-existing uses on it such as the redevelopment of an industrial site into a mixed-use development or the redevelopment of a block of townhouses into a large apartment building. Urban Infillon vacant parcels that have no existing activity but were previously developed is also sometimes referred to as redevelopment.
Redevelopment projects can be small or large ranging from a single building to entire new neighborhoods or "new town in town" projects.
Some redevelopment projects and programs have been incredibly controversial including the
Urban Renewalprogram in the United States in the mid-twentieth century or the Urban Regenerationprogram in Great Britain. Controversy usually results either from the use of eminent domain, from objections to the change in use or increases in density and intensity on the site or from disagreement on the appropriate use of tax-payer funds to pay for some element of the project.
Other terms sometimes used to describe redevelopment include
urban revitalization. While efforts described as urban revitalization often involve redevelopment they do not always involve redevelopment as they do not always involve the demolition of any existing structures but may instead describe the rehabilitation of existing buildings or other neighborhood improvement initiatives.
ome Significant Examples of Redevelopment:
Atlantic Stationin Atlanta, GA
West End, Boston, Massachusetts
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Canary Wharf( UK)
Redevelopment of Norrmalm( Sweden)
Beijing Olympic Village
Panamain Casco Antiguo (Casco Viejo)
Community Redevelopment Agency
Casco Antiguo, Urban Revitalization in the Republic of Panama
Founded in 1673 after the original Spanish settlement (called Panama Viejo or Panama La Vieja) was destroyed by pirate Henry Morgan in 1671, [http://www.arcoproperties.com/about-thecasco.aspx| Casco Antiguo] was the heart of Panamanian life for more than 300 years. The old city saw different economic booms and busts, from the Californinan Gold Rush, to the French attempt to build a Canal and finally with the conclusion of the works by the Americans; Casco Antiguo (called interchangeably Casco Viejo or [http://www.arcoproperties.com/sanfranciscodeasis.aspx| San Felipe] ) saw the birth of Panama as a Republic.
Its decay began in the 40´s and 50´s, as did in many other Latin American old quarters when the upper crust discovered the suburbs after World War II. Casco Antiguo fell to its lower point, abandoned and forgotten until 1998 when it was designated World Heritage Site by UNESCO, opening the doors for its urban revitalization.
The "Casco Antiguo Case" is the only one in Panama at the moment, and probably one of the best examples of collaboration between the Government, the private sector, the NGO´s and the local community. It didn´t consider just the revitalization of the buildings, but of the community.
In the early years of the designation, the government issued a protection law ( [http://www.asamblea.gob.pa/APPS/LEGISPAN/PDF_NORMAS/1990/1997/1997_155_0003.PDF| Law 9] ) with an interesting package of incentives, mostly tax exemptions for developers and buyers of restored units. The incentives ended in August 2007, but it generated enough interest from responsible developers to step in and create momentum. At the same time, it created specialized institutions like Oficina del Casco Antiguo (Office of Casco Antiguo) to serve as a liason between the private sector, the community, the Government and UNESCO. They also created a strict architectural regulation, from which each building would have a category depending on its historic importance, and define the characteristics to be preserved or removed. Special procedures where put in place to ensure the protection of those elements and to be the guardians of the architectural and urban revitalization of the Old Quarter.
The private sector, on the other hand, provided the capital and work to restore the buildings and market the units. In its initial phase, much attention was paid only to the architectural and urban aspects of Casco Antiguo. The Oficina del Casco Antiguo worked on a Masterplan which included infrastructure, parking, rehabilitation of piers and traffic circulation.
However, ten years after its designation, and having ensured that the architectural patrimony was protected, both government and private sector have re directed their efforts in protecting the human patrimony.
Just as it happened at the first stage of the revitalization, all sectors are working hand by hand to see the Casco Antiguo become one of the greatest old quarters of the region, where a mixed population has the ability to create long term value by providing a vibrant, live but yet historic city, and turn away from more traditional models that offer an image of an overpolished museum.
One of the most important aspects in achieving a mixed population was the creation of low income housing. Beautiful examples of this type of housing can be found towards Plaza Herrera on specific buildings that embody the Caribbean flavor of the Casco such as [http://www.arcoproperties.com/boyaca.aspx| La Boyaca] and [http://www.arcoproperties.com/casarosada.aspx| Casa Rosada] . Such properties are also serving as [http://www.loscuatrotulipanes.com| apartment rentals] in aiding the growth of tourism in the area.
The private sector has also provided housing for locals, although their most important contribution is through the local NGO´s such as [http://cascoviejopanama.wikispaces.com/Community+and+Social+Work| Fundacion Calicanto] and [http://www.arcoproperties.com/blogs/main/PermaLink,guid,a5900de9-ba9c-4af9-a9b9-ecb968250e11.aspx| Aprojusan] .
Fundacion Calicanto provides different programs for the local population, some in collaboration with the Office of Casco Antiguo. Their most popular program is the hotel trainning for local women, which helps to break the cycle of poverty from its roots by providing them with the tools to become an active part on the promising tourism future of the historic city. They also work with children and support associations such as APROJUSAN which provides art workshops for children as a way to also canalize their health and after school academics program. Fundacion Calicanto is also at the front of an active urban agriculture program, that aims to provide trainning to young and adults in growing their own food at home.
Urban revitalization at Casco Antiguo is an ongoing process. As any live city, there isn´t a "delivery date" for a finished product. A weave of many layers, it aims to be an example for other cities in Panama and in the region of how responsible urban revitalization can create long term value not only for the city itself but for the country.
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