Project Phasing

In order to ensure the implementation of large-scale regeneration projects, they need to be broken down into manageable project components. The hand-over process must account for the complex set of interdependencies between the large-scale investments and construction projects, such as major infrastructure (utilities, transport, park systems, brownfields cleanup), and the microdelivery of commercial and residential projects that need to establish a “sense of place” and completion—even though the ultimate build-out of the regeneration project will progress over a long period of time.

It is therefore important to clearly map out the life of the project, including the expected project cycle and phases as best as possible, while also accounting for uncertainties. Once mapped, a series of critical questions can be asked that will generate hand-over options as the basis of agreements between the public, private, and other sectors (civic, community) to codify the regeneration process. This will help to ensure project continuity and clarity of roles, responsibilities, and interdependencies. The nature of the hand over differs depending on whether it is a private sector or public sector-led regeneration process. In this regard, it should be noted that these roles can also change and reverse over the life of the project.

Table below provides an example of the type of high-level summary table that can be created to illustrate the phases, roles, relationships, and organization necessary for a successful regeneration project. This can be expanded and adapted to meet the scope, focus, and local circumstances of the regeneration project.

Table: Summary of phases and organization of a regeneration project

In many cases, the implementation outline and phasing schedule are major parts of a master plan, highlighting the timetable and phasing for the delivery of the site’s development. This will give the government and the community an indication of how development will be staged with infrastructure and services provision and will provide the reasoning for the chosen phasing order. The phasing of the development should be described, detailing which elements will be built first and which later, which decisions should be made early, and which should be allowed to evolve in response to future opportunities.

The phasing should be planned around the potential to deliver infrastructure. It should also take into account any relocation of people, sale or rental of land, the property market, possible movement issues, land ownership patterns, funding availability, and relevant planning processes and legislation. It is important to note that phasing a project does not mean that each phase should be done consecutively; in cases of extreme urgency, project phases could be implemented in parallel to each other. However, this arrangement will need better coordination between various actors. An example of this is outlined in box below summarizes the alternative phasing strategy in the restoration of the Cheonggyecheon stream in Seoul.

Parallel phasing strategy in restoration of the Cheonggyecheon stream in Seoul, Republic of Korea

A good illustration of the importance of the master plan and phasing is the case of the Taipingqiao development in Shanghai, China. The master plan for the whole area included cultural, entertainment, hotel/retail, office, housing, open space, and other uses, such as education facilities, infrastructure, and other public facilities. Click on the box below, which shows how the Asian financial crisis changed the phasing strategy of the project. The example also shows that with a robust master plan and clear phasing schedule, various risks and shocks to the process could be mitigated.

The phasing plan for the Taipingqiao development in Shanghai, China