Postcard of Limassol Prokymaea Photo by Stavros & Costas Marmatakis

Molos, February 1955 Photo by Peter G. R. Barlow

General Definition

In its basic definition, redevelopment refers to a process of changing an area by replacing older forms of ‘development’ (buildings/roads) with new ones. As such, redevelopment has different ‘types,’ which involve varying degrees of preservation of built heritage, whether this pertains to historic centers or modern buildings.

The meaning of redevelopment becomes more complex when contextualised within late 20th/ early 21st Century global processes of development.  a)  Historically, in the 1990s, when it appeared as a reaction to mid-20th century waves of development, redevelopment constituted a new ethos that aimed to “develop again what is maldeveloped or is now obsolete” (Sachs, 2019, p. 16) and therefore confronted questions of whether it is environmentally or socially sustainable; thus, redevelopment became connected to the potentials and challenges of ‘sustainable development’.  b) As an international development practice, redevelopment can also be understood in terms of the geopolitical power relations of the global North-South, raising questions of who benefits and who faces harm from redevelopment processes. c) Spatially, the redesign of neighbourhoods/cities/coasts (e.g., ‘urban redevelopment,’ ‘housing redevelopment’ etc), also impacts intangible aspects of space (e.g. traditional trades, lifestyles and activities), and relates to notions of resilience and phenomena of gentrification.


Built Architectural/ Urban Design Project Example

Limassol Prokymaea (Molos)

The redevelopment of Limassol’s coast altered the physical, economic and social fabric of an area that was developed earlier as a port city (Fig. 1). It is tied to issues of both heritage and sustainability, as the old town’s preservation and protection were key to the reclaiming 1.2km of land in order to protect the existing road and buildings from erosion. The reclaimed land was then utilized for widening the road and creating Limassol’s largest public park (Fig. 2). In this way, redevelopment contributed to the deindustrialization of the area, that also initiated processes of gentrification with long term social effects.

Gilligan, J. (2020, January 6). Redevelopment That Preserves Cultural Heritage. Retrieved from Shelterforce:


Hein, C. (2014) ‘Port cities and urban wealth: between global networks and local transformations’,

Int. J. Global Environmental Issues, Vol. 13, Nos. 2/3/4, pp.339–361.


Hersh, B. (Ed.). (2017). Urban Redevelopment: A North American Reader (1st ed.). Routledge.


Mehra, A. K. The Politics of Urban Redevelopment: A Study of Old Delhi First Edition. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 1991.


Na, I.S. (2014). At the crossroads between rehabilitation and redevelopment:A critique of seoul’s sewunsangga inner-city renewal project. Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal. 8. 31-40.


Sachs, W. (2019). The Development Dictionary: A Guide to Knowledge as Power. London: Zed Books.


To, K. & Chong, K. H. (2013). Heritage Conservation vs. Commercial Redevelopment in Historic City Centers: The Case of French Colonial Quarter in Hanoi and Lessons from Singapore. Journal of Habitat Engineering and Design. 5. 89-96.



Author: Panayiota Pyla
Associate Professor, University of Cyprus

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