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Increasing Metropolitan Allure by Going European



Project Objectives
Project Outputs

Contact Details

Project website:


All over (NW) Europe post-war high-rise residential areas are in decline. These once proud areas present huge challenges to urban governments as their current negative image leads to lack of investment, poor physical environment, feelings of insecurity, single-dimensional housing stock, crime, social exclusion and a lack of economic activity. Such areas become the temporary home to new immigrants and the poorer sections of society. Viewed as only transitory stops for people on their way to a 'better' housing environment, the negative image of such areas becomes reinforced, fewer people are prepared to invest in the area let alone choose to live in the area and so the decline continues.

Given the size and urgency of the task ahead - and the fact that public financial resources at all levels are limited - it is vital that innovative ways to reverse the downward spiral are found, ways which act as triggers for stakeholder involvement and financial investment in the larger-scale, longer-term regeneration required.

The overall aim of the IMAGE project is to

  • examine the potential for neighbourhood branding to transform the image of areas in decline;
  • illustrate how masterplanning can give structure to the long-tem process of regeneration;
  • and demonstrate how innovative pilot investments can help kick-start neighbourhood regeneration.

The project is supported by the European Commission (European Regional Development Fund).


Project objectives

  • To identify how neighbourhood branding can be used to transform the image of an area and help reverse the downward spiral by generating environmental, social and economic benefits;
  • To identify best practice on using Masterplanning as a tool for urban regeneration and test this knowledge in a case study area;
  • To undertake a number of tangible pilot investments in the partner city areas to kick-start the image transformation process and trigger further investment;
  • To develop a set of guidelines for others about to embark on regeneration processes;
  • To disseminate widely the results of the project.


Project Outputs

Tool kit for neighbourhood regeneration
Between 2004 and 2007, IMAGE developed an "Integrated Regeneration Process". This approach to urban regeneration addresses physical, economical and social problems in equal measure and aims at gradually solving the complex and inter-related problems that many high-rise areas face. The fundamental idea is that image improvement must go hand-in- hand with urban regeneration so that the 'downward spiral' in these areas can be stopped and converted into a positive, upward process of improving these neighbourhoods.

The toolkit summarises the outcomes of the IMAGE project, explores the experiences gained in the high-rise residential areas of the partner cities, and provides a useful toolkit for integrated urban regeneration processes based on our experiences. Download IMAGE project toolkit>>

Closing conference
The Closing Conference of the European Union's INTERREG IIIB funded IMAGE project took place in Depot, Dortmund, Germany on 18th and 19th October 2007. The IMAGE project began in 2004 and will finish in 2007. The aim of IMAGE was to find innovative approaches to regenerate high-rise residential areas by having focus on image improvement. The findings of the project were presented at the Closing Conference. For more information and to download the presentations and other conference material please visit the IMAGE project website>>

Residential Course
Regeneration professionals from across Europe gathered in the Netherlands during September 2006 to see if they could use techniques more commonly associated with advertising executives to transform our inner-city high-rise housing estates. Participants took part in a week-long residential course held in Delft and were among the first people to get the opportunity to test out the exciting new tools and methods being developed by the IMAGE Project. Read more about the course>> and results of residential course>>


Project partners

The project partners represent a mix of organisational types from a local authorities to research institutions and non-profit resident-led organisations to housing corporations. The partners will work closely via international meetings and visits and a project online communication tool on the neighbourhood branding, the masterplanning and also on the investments in five city areas. The lead partner organisation is the City of Delft, the Netherlands.

City of Delft, The Netherlands,
City of Antwerp, Belgium
City of Zurich, Switzerland
Community at Heart, UK
Ballymun Regeneration Limited, NGO, Ireland
Delfwonen Housing Coroporation, NGO, The Netherlands
CV Huisvesting, NGO, Belgium
Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development, Building and Construction of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (ILS NRW), Germany
Quartiers en Crise, NGO, Belgium


Contact details:

Michiel Dol
Project Manager
IMAGE secretariat / IIUE
Mail address: Nickersteeg 5, 2611 EK Delft, The Netherlands

Tel: +31 15 262 32 79
Fax: +31 15 262 48 73
Web site: