Achieving diversity through collaborative planning in mixed used precincts : a case study of Florida Road, Durban.
Cele, Desiree Noshipo.
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Entertainment precincts are typically packed with a mix of retail, art galleries, nightclubs, restaurants and even places of worship. The mix of people and land uses creates a diverse and dynamic area which has economic and social benefits. However, for an entertainment precinct like Florida Road in Durban there seems to be difficulty in communicating some of the resulting social issues. The unclear role of stakeholder input renders communication inefficient in the precinct. This study therefore sought to understand the social impact of mixed use development using Florida road as the case study. Both quantitative and qualitative research approaches were employed using a sample of 66 respondents to capture firstly; the everyday life perspectives of the residents and the visitors/users of Florida Road, secondly; to examine and clarify the extent of the social impact resulting from the changes in patterns of land use and finally, to understand the processes followed to redevelop Florida Road. A land use survey of the Florida Road corridor which when compared with the land use pattern in 2007 revealed some changes in the land use pattern and the introduction of high intensity land use activity such as nightclubs in close proximity with residential land uses. The results from the surveys and interviews with property owners, business management, precinct manager and municipal officials showed that while precinct management has made commendable physical progress since its inception in 2012 there are underlying challenges. This paper argues for the need for intimate collaboration and examines available knowledge which could assist in guiding and analyze stakeholders, bureaucratic fragmentation and citizen participation in South African spatial planning. The case study appraises consistent collaborative planning in the decision-making processes in order to enable communities and local government to communicate effectively without squandering opportunities to diversify.