Rapid urban development has promoted economic development, but it has also created social problems. Urban renewal provides an important means of achieving sustainable urban development. After 2012, it became a research hotspot with people-oriented and organic renewal concepts. To understand the research trends in urban renewal during 2012–2022, a comprehensive biblio-metric analysis was conducted to identify research progress, fields, hotspots, and trends. The core collection is based on the Web of Science (WoS) database, with a total of 2692 publications. The volume of publications, journal of publication, country, institution, research scope, and keywords were selected as the object of analysis. The results reveal that since 2012, the volume of urban renewal articles has been gradually increasing, reaching a maximum of 417 in 2022. China is the largest and most influential country in terms of the number of articles published, but the cooperation between institutions and authors is not strong. The research hotspots can be summarized as the connotation and practice of urban renewal, approaches to urban renewal, and sustainable urban development. Future directions for research are identified as including an innovative multi-corporate governance model, community-based renewal, further exploration of sustainable renewal practices, and interdisciplinary applications of urban renewal.