Urban renewal practices could improve urban social sustainability with well-designed and well-constructed built environments. This study shows the development of a model, which explains the relation between built environment design and social sustainability in urban renewal. To do so, firstly, a comprehensive literature review was conducted, after which a pilot study was administered. This led to the identification of 32 built environment design elements. Their contributions to social sustainability were evaluated utilizing a survey among 323 people who previously worked in urban renewal projects. The design elements were grouped by exploratory factor analysis under five factors, and these factors were named as, accessibility and quality of social life, conservation of resources, quality of the built environment, protection of disadvantaged groups, and commercial and economic opportunities. Then, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) was carried out with 60 academics and practitioners to identify the weights of the factors. Accessibility and quality of social life factor reached the highest weight with 33 %, while the other four factors shared close weights. The model obtained as a result of this study will increase the awareness of urban renewal stakeholders about social sustainability, by demonstrating clearly which design elements should be considered to improve the social sustainability of urban renewal projects.