Planned, local development corridors within eThekwini Municipality : the case of Bellair Road Development corridor, Cator Manor, Durban.
There is a growing concern in urban growth management as cities around the world are rapidly becoming [or have become] urbanized. Placed within the context of sustainable urban form and development, this study demonstrates the implementation of planned local development corridor initiatives using the Bellair Road Development Corridor case study. The main aim is to explore the factors responsible for influencing the extent to which the corridor is achieving its objectives. Using research methods such as interviews, observation, land use surveys, statistics and secondary data, it was found that the Bellair Road Development corridor is complex with various facets of land use and transportation planning. All these aspects need to function in cohesion to reach initial objectives. Also, changing local dynamics influence the functionality of a corridor which may alter the status quo, hence constant monitoring and evaluation is imperative. Importantly, it was found that management and market forces play a major role in the corridor reaching its objectives. This is true especially when the private sector is incorporated. While the initial anticipation was for the area to progress to a mixed income environment to support economic activity, this has not been attained. Market forces and affordability have kept business slow and crime is driving away private sector investment. While in certain instances there is interest from private sector to purchase property, this is hampered by lack of registered land which needs township registers to be opened and land to be consolidated and subdivided to be sold via public tender. Other land related issues include land invasion and the pressing needs to provide homes to an ever increasing informal settlement. Business support is available to aid small business in the area. Here an important lesson is learnt, while infrastructure and access to services is made available, in such a context, there needs to be further assistance to would-be investors. The lack of suitable trip attractions along the corridor/activity street creates a poor number of people spending their money within the local area and travel outside to obtain goods and services. Road/street upgrades and links are needed to de-isolated the community and accelerate integration with other areas. The attractiveness of the corridor is also poor with an unkempt natural environment, pollution and increased informality, which drives investors away. A common vision and integration of different actors is a key factor towards the positive implementation of this initiative. It was also found that the development corridor concept and principles exhibit sustainable urban form. Also, within South Africa, there is a widespread consensus on the positive impacts of the corridor for integration and sustainable resource allocation as seen through local and regional policies and strategic frameworks.