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Milwaukee's community renewal program: Urban renewal techniques
(May 1964)

I. Summary,   pp. 1-4

Page 1

Urban renewal is a process whereby areas of the community are rebuilt or otherwise upgraded in whole
or in part by public and private enterprise.
The conservation type of urban renewal program is designed to prevent the causes of blight in new
neighborhoods, to halt the decline of sound middle-aged areas, and to reverse the trend before clearance be-
comes necessary. Conservation cannot save badly deteriorated, older neighborhoods. It is not a substitute for
clearance and redevelopment.
The major objective of the program is the restoration of economic and social values to basically good
areas through a balanced program of public ahd private improvements. Secondary objectives include develop-
ing the assets of the area, restoring the residents' confidence in the area's future, and encouraging new in-
vestments in the area.
In selecting areas for treatment the following characteristics must be present: preliminary signs of blight,
limited demolition required, indications of vitality, high degree of owner-occupancy, pride of ownership,
street pattern and community facilities which are acceptable or which can be modified to meet modern standards.
For planning and execution purposes the project area should be of a manageable size so that the conservation
project can be completed in a reasonable period of time.
The cost of a conservation program will depend on the treatment required in each area. In areas where
blight has not reached serious proportions a program financed entirely by the city should suffice. Those areas
with more serious building and environmental deficiencies will require a program with federal financial assis-
tance to restore the economic and social values. Under a federally assisted program structures mustbe rehabili-
tated to extend their useful life to approximately 30 years. It is doubtful that the city of Milwaukee can bear
the entire cost of a comprehensive program over an extended period of years.
Conservation is a mutual assistance program with participation by the individual citizens and the city.
The individual owners are expected to improve their properties to meet conservation standards and to cooperate
with their neighborhood organizations to improve their areas. The city will improve public facilities, remove
dilapidated and non-conforming uses, and provide advisory services such as community organization assistance,
architectural, relocation, and social diagnostic services. These services will be made available to the residents
through a field office in the designated conservation area.

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