An Online Decision Support tool for Planning, Financing, and Implementing Large-Scale and Complex Urban Regeneration Projects

We designed a decision tool for the city managers and senior planners to enable them to systematically design and implement a large-scale urban regeneration project. This tool uses the material in our newly published book “Regenerating Urban Land, a Practitioner’s Manual to Private Investment” and presents various policy and financial tools in a dynamic way and needs based manner. The decision tool asks a series of questions about the specifics of the urban regeneration project the city is embarking on and based on the answers it provides recommendations that link the challenges with solutions. The aim is to provide city government with tools to systematically design, structure, finance, and implement an urban regeneration project starting with the basics: land administration and management, land base financing tools, environmental and social considerations, and assessment of planning and management institutions.

The tools are divided into four phases. The first phase is scoping, which is a process, which provides decision makers with a strategic assessment to identify and promote regeneration. It provides an analytical foundation and engagement process that the city leaders can use to generate choices and to debate and decide on the best course of action. The second phase is developing a planning framework, which is vital to sustaining the regeneration vision through the inevitable changes and unforeseen challenges of market and political cycles.

The third phase is financing. We categorize financing tools in two groups: financial tools and regulatory tools. Financial tools involve direct financing assistance for a regeneration project such as various value capture methods (impact fees, special assessments, exactions). Regulatory instruments are essential in leveraging a city’s regulatory powers to incentivize private sector participation. Lastly, the implementation phase entails translating the vision for long-term change into the financial, contractual and institutional relationship between the public and private sectors. You can reach the decision tool here.