6 International Models of Urban Revitalization

The New York Times recently published an article exploring six cities from around the world reinventing themselves for the 21st century: Paris, Sydney, Medellin, Lisbon, Singapore, and Durban.

2 minute read

April 3, 2023, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

The public market at Warwick JUnction in Durban, South Africa is visible with the city ‘s high-rise buildings in the background.

After the end of apartheid in South Africa, vendors were involved in redesigning the market at Warwick Junction in Durban. | Jazzmany / Shutterstock

Words and photography by the journalists at the New York Times explore ambitious efforts to remake cities from around the globe. The author of the article, Jenna Schnuer, writes to introduce the subject of the exploration:

What makes a city great? Whether you’re living in Durban, South Africa, or Medellín, Colombia, perhaps no two people living in one place will have the same answer. But ask residents across different cultures and regions about challenges facing their own cities, and common issues will emerge, like the need for more affordable housing, better public transportation and access to resources and services.

As an antidote to the common practice of municipal initiatives failing to address the needs of actual residents, the article presents six examples, one from every continent outside of North America and Antarctica.

In Medellín, Colombia, the article explores the revitalization of the public realm through public transit and parks. Durban, South Africa, offers an example of the benefits of involving vendors in the design of one of the city’s public market at Warwick Junction. A model for struggling U.S. downtowns can be found in Sydney, Australia, which has reinvented former industrial and commercial districts with public space and native plants. Paris is featured for its adaptive reuse of historic structures (though the city’s transition away from automobile dependence certainly gets a mention). Lisbon passed a landmark “Green Plan” in 2008 to mitigate the effects of extreme heat, and has since been declared the “green capital” of Europe. Singapore adopted its Park Connector network of trails, stretching nearly 19 miles around the island, as one component of efforts to create more outdoor spaces on a heavily developed island.

There is a lot more detail to see and read at the article below.

Thursday, March 16, 2023 in The New York Times

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