The role of urban regeneration initiatives in the creation of sustainable inner cities : a case study of the Durban Point regeneration initiative.
Dwamena, Robert Akowuah.
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Inner-cities are perceived as the driving force for socio-economic development of municipalities and the core commercial hub for creative opportunities. Nonetheless, they still face significant urban management challenges and a myriad of complex issues, which threaten their sustainability. This requires urban regeneration, revitalization, and renewal programmes to invigorate them. Through the application of both qualitative and quantitative methods and underpinning theories as Just city, Equity, Collaborative, and New urbanism, the study examined the role of urban regeneration in the creation of sustainable inner city using Durban Point area as a case study. The study revealed that regeneration approaches employed as a turnaround strategy by city managers, have become a spectacle of property-driven and “banal” flagships projects. This is legitimised to boost inner-city sustainability and to mobilise support for entrepreneurial urbanism activities that rebrand the inner-city for „massification‟ of private, and public, investment that has resulted unto ad-hoc, disjointed and uncoordinated implementation, which have no correlation with practical challenges manifested in the inner city realm. The findings shows that this approach does not guarantee long-term sustainability of the inner city, but only purport to raise the image of the city to attract investment without tackling socio spatial challenges deeply entrenched in this urban organism. It is proposed that if the inner city areas are to be sustained, and then it will demand a reconstruction of current policy narratives behind inner city regeneration, which presently tends to side-line the plight of the unheard voices within the inner-city areas. Municipalities are therefore encouraged to embrace integrated and multifaceted approach to regeneration implementation, which guarantees long-term sustainability of the inner-city areas.