Abandoned vs. regenerated places: Evidence of five social impacts that improve urban planning

Álex Escolà-Gascón, Neil Dagnall, Kenneth Drinkwater, Andrew Denovan

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review


One of the under-researched issues in relation to urban restoration of abandonments is the impact they have on society and the well-being of the population. In this research we analyzed five socio-environmental impacts associated with urban regeneration plans. A total of 1265 individuals participated in this study; 621 resided near an unregenerate derelict site and the other 644 were around a site that was formerly abandoned and urbanistically restored. Structural equation models based on invariance analysis and latent mean analysis were used to control for response bias in the social perception of five impacts: place identity, place dependence, run-down perception, unsafe perception, and environmental stress. Counter intuitive results were obtained in relation to the sense of place: the abandoned site had higher levels of place identity and place dependence than the urbanistically regenerated place. The probability that abandoned places had higher levels of sense of place than regenerated places was close to 98 %. Nevertheless, we obtained statistical evidence that urban regeneration promoted reductions in residents' stress levels and improved run-down perception. We discuss the implications of sense of place for regeneration plans and offer new urban planning strategies according to the analyzed impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104739
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Abandoned buildings
  • Abandonments
  • Environmental stress
  • Place identity
  • Sense of place
  • Urban regeneration


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