Urban Revitalization refers to a set of initiatives aimed at reorganizing an existing city structure, particularly in neighborhoods in decline due to economic or social reasons. Urban revitalization initiatives generally include improving features of the urban environment, such as the quality of pavement and the functionality of the sidewalks. Depending on the intended usage of the revitalized neighborhood, the projects can also address the need for improved community engagement and occupation of the public spaces, providing new entertainment facilities like parks and museums. In several initiatives, projects aim to prepare parts of the city to fulfill a desired economic function by adjusting the utilities network to specific requirements.
A revitalized urban space, with effective infrastructure, can create the conditions for an efficient city, capable of promoting innovation, a higher quality of life, and economic development with shared prosperity and environmental respect. Urban revitalization initiatives can, however, be large projects, complex in terms of implementation and operation, and require innovation in technology and scope.
Public-private partnerships (PPPs) can help facilitate the implementation of urban revitalization projects in a number of different ways. First, through a PPP a project can be financed fully, or primarily, by the private sector, optimizing the fiscal space and differing public sector spending through the duration of the contract. PPPs, in this respect, can be a source of financing used by cities to organize its capital expenditure.
Second, PPPs can help municipalities plan better. Long-term by definition, PPPs incentivize municipalities to account for whole-life costs during design and implementation phase. While this does not mean costs are always within the budget, PPPs do force a level of planning that may otherwise be absent.
Third, and perhaps more importantly, PPPs can add flexibility to the street-level service delivery, such as maintenance and operation, of specific assets, which public sector agencies typically lack. PPPs harness private sector capabilities and increase efficiency of services.