The term urban regeneration covers everything from creating desirable homes in city centres to finding new uses for our formal industrial heartlands. We asked industry figures to sum up what regeneration means for them. Here are their answers…

1. David Taylor executive chair of DTP

One of regeneration's best known and most visionary players, the co-developer of east London's Silvertown Quays, says:

"There is no template; over two decades every project has been different. Two givens: first, regeneration is a long-term process, patience is needed - a problem given short-term property perspectives. Second, investing in social capital is as important as the physical side, but is often not understood. Regeneration is now where the action is."

2. Chris Brown, chief executive, Igloo Regeneration Fund

The head of the UK's first urban regeneration fund knows precisely what he will invest in:

"Urban regeneration is concerted social, economic and physical action to help people in neighbourhoods experiencing multiple deprivation reverse decline and create sustainable communities. It isn't property development by another name. Property development happens through market forces. Physical urban regeneration requires public sector financial support which is only given to benefit deprived communities."

3. Roger Madelin, chief executive, Argent Group

The man awaiting the go-ahead to regenerate 67 acres of London's Kings Cross Station gives his spare seven-word definition:

"Development is easy, but regeneration requires partnership."

4. John Ireland, managing director, Redrow Regeneration

As you would expect of a housebuilder, John Ireland's definition shows the influence of the government's sustainable communities agenda.

"It means providing bespoke and creative solutions to deliver sustainable new communities. This is achieved via consultation with all stakeholders to clearly understand every issue, and staying connected to the scheme throughout the entire process and beyond, culminating in an aspirational new environment that works on both the economic level and for the community as a whole. The acid test is a development that not only makes people feel good but makes them proud to be a part of it."

5. Jon Ladd, chief executive, BURA

If anybody should be able to come up with a good answer to this question, it is the British Urban Regeneration Association:

"Urban regeneration is a comprehensive and integrated vision and action which leads to the resolution of urban problems and which seeks to bring about a lasting improvement in the economic, physical, social and environmental condition of an area."

6. Ray Mills, partner, regional development group Pricewaterhouse Coopers

PCWs' perspective on regeneration is a broad one:

"Regeneration is about making tomorrow's world better. Delivering sustainable communities in a fast-moving commercial environment demands partnerships of commitment, trust and transparency. Partners must have common purpose, a shared understanding of the pitfalls and opportunities, appropriate governance and a lot of patience. There is no one-size fits all approach. To deliver inspirational regeneration, on time and within budget, you need to be inclusive, responsive to local and market needs, adopt a flexible approach and put in a lot of hard work up-front, particularly in ensuring commercial and financial viability."

7. Jonathan Moseley, associate director corporate finance, KPMG Corporate Finance

Adviser KPMG recognises the difficulties in defining the term:

"Regeneration means different things to different people. In the context of urban development, it constitutes a range of complementary improvements at brownfield sites in relation to land, property and associated infrastructure, with the intention of achieving social, economic and environmental benefits. Specifically, regeneration encompasses - but is broader than - the government's aims in relation to housing development."

8. Stuart Wright, chief executive, City Lofts

City Lofts' collaboration with Conran and Partners prompts a design-led definition:

"We believe good design should be at the heart of any urban regeneration project. Only by creating visually attractive buildings that people want to live and work in, can an area be transformed for the long term. Our relationship with Conran & Partners has created buildings that we believe will stand the test of time and make long-term contributions to their surroundings."

9. Alan Cherry, chairman, Countryside Properties

This is the vedict of a company with a long list of residential-led regeneration projects to its credit:

"Some of our towns and cities have under used and wasted land assets, as well as areas of social exclusion. Regeneration is the process of redeveloping that land and revitalising the area by attracting economic investment and new employment and creating a much improved living environment. Regeneration should be designed to be sustainable - socially, environmentally and economically - to provide a good quality of life for those people who live and work there."

10. The ODPM

As urban regeneration is central to government policy, the last word has to go to the ODPM:

"Urban policy is at the heart of the deputy prime minister's sustainable communities agenda - improving the construction and design of buildings, ensuring that regeneration benefits everyone in the community, and developing the skills that are needed to ensure this happens. Towns and cities must be looked at as a whole so that we tackle their economic, social and environmental needs in an integrated way."