ADDRESSING INNER-CITY DECLINE THROUGH URBAN REGENERATION – THE CASE OF DURBAN POINT PRECINCT DEVELOPMENT

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Z Mnikathi
L CHIPUNGU

Abstract

Most inner cities and big towns have in one way or other experienced urban decline. So many reasons can be attributed to urban decline and these include, property abandonment, crime, high unemployment and the rundown of inner-city services thereby leading to the failure to attract new investments. This study focused on exploring the extent to which inner city urban regeneration strategies impact on socio-economic issues in order to create a sustainable inner-city urban environment. This was achieved by exploring applicable inner-city planning principles and examining the role of institutions in the regeneration process. The focus was on the Durban Point Precinct which is a waterfront environment – an area which falls under the eThekwini Municipality Central Municipal Planning Region. This paper is based on empirical research whose data was collected using both qualitative and quantitative research methods such as face-to-face interviews, direct observation and household questionnaires. More so, the study was governed by the competitive city theory and neoliberalism which both speak to the emerging nature of regeneration intervention measures (as typified by mixed developments). The study concluded by noting that inner city urban regeneration strategies are an ideal approach in dealing with declining areas since they resuscitate economic and social life. In the process, such intervention measures do not only redevelop the city, but they rebrand the inner city.

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