Home > U Words > urban renewal

urban renewal

Definition of Urban Renewal

(noun) The large-scale and comprehensive act or process of renovating or replacing housing and public works considered substandard or outdated.

Example of Urban Renewal

  • A large metropolitan city decides to renovate and replace dilapidated and underutilized wharfs on their coastline to build parks and office buildings.

Urban Renewal Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: ur·ban re·new·al

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈɜrbən rɪˈnuəl/
  • British English – /ˈɜːbən rɪˈnju(ː)əl/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: urban renewals
  • Urban renewal programs often disproportionately impact the elderly, racial minorities, and the poor. Residents in urban renewal areas are often forcibly relocated or cannot afford to live in the newly renovated areas (because of higher taxes or rent) and are thus displaced and replaced by wealthier individuals in a process called gentrification.
  • Also called:
    • urban redevelopment
    • urban regeneration
    • urban revitalization

Additional Information

Related Terms


Works Consulted

Encyclopædia Britannica. (N.d.) Britannica Digital Learning. (https://britannicalearn.com/).

Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein. 2010. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. 2nd ed. New York: Norton.

Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.

Kornblum, William. 2008. Sociology in a Changing World. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).

Stolley, Kathy S. 2005. The Basics of Sociology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Taylor & Francis. (N.d.) Routledge Handbooks Online. (https://www.routledgehandbooks.com/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).

Wiley. (N.d.) Wiley Online Library. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/).

Cite the Definition of Urban Renewal

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “urban renewal.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved November 14, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/urban-renewal/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

urban renewal. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/urban-renewal/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “urban renewal.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed November 14, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/urban-renewal/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“urban renewal.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 14 Nov. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/urban-renewal/>.