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How to make urban renewal a success.

Deserted high streets, empty storefronts and an idle economy: With shoppers migrating in droves to online retail during lockdown, major city centres across Europe are in danger of going under. It is more vital than ever for cities across Germany to commit to reversing urban decline. Timo Brehme, Managing Partner of the Munich-based consulting and architecture firm CSMM, is sounding the alarm about how this trend could impact society as a whole. At the same time, he sees the current existential crisis and structural upheaval as an opportunity to make a fresh start – provided, of course, that politicians, members of the community and investors join forces to affect change. Brehme: “It is impossible for individual property owners to achieve such radical change on their own. We need decision-making and urban planning concepts backed by a global strategy that involves municipal authorities as well as members of the community.” Now is the time to develop urban renewal solutions that are multifunctional and sustainable. After all, there is enough dormant energy in the existing urban infrastructure to kickstart a new, more vibrant chapter in any city’s history.

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