Please imagine a large destroyed area which has become ruined due to a war or an earthquake or simply because it was uninhabited for a long time or even from the outset.

I wonder what idiom/verb or expression best carries the meaning of rebuilding or recovering and beautifying it in order to make that area habitable, beautiful and lively?

I know only one single word "reclaim" that I doubt if it fits well here.


to make land, such as desert or areas covered by water, suitable for farming or building.

I wonder what would you use in English to indicate this meaning.

Added: in Turkish we call it:

Adjectives: Bayındır - Imar - Abat
Infinitives: Abat etmek - Imar etmek

In Arabic we call it:
Adjective: عامِر
Verb: إعمار

In Russian: благоустройство мелиорация Облагораживат OR Реконструкция


2 Answers 2


"Reconstruction" is probably the most accurate term, or as a verb "reconstruct". "Rebuild" is a close synonym. If you are not building again you can say "development".

Redevelopment tends to be used for the new development in a poor, but not destroyed area

The reconstruction of Mosel after the Iraq war included the rebuilding of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri, and the development of a new residential district to the South of the city.

London's old dock yards, which had been reconstructed after the war, had become slums by the 1980s. The slums have now been been redeveloped as a new financial district known as Canary Wharf.


It's a little specific, but 'regenerating' is currently the most used phrase in this sort of context, particularly when you are talking about residential areas.

'Gentrification' is similar, but with heavy negative connotations.

  • Thanks Mike, +1 for the good information. But "gentrify" doesn't seem to be my intended case while as Cambridge says it means: "To change a place from being a poor area to a richer one, by people of a higher social class moving to live there." Also, "regenerate" is something like "rebuild", while what I need associates with "getting lively (again)". I don't know why, but my ntended meaning it tightly related with cultivation and being green. :)
    – A-friend
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 10:37
  • I agree that 'gentrification' isn't what you are looking for. In the context of urban planning, 'regeneration' certainly does mean improving the whole ambience of an area - in fact (in the UK at least) it usually refers to schemes intended to improve amenities, precisiely so that homeownership become more attractive.
    – MikeB
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 10:43

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