Change and continuity: the development of Florence Nightingale Drive in Westcliff, Chatsworth.
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The rapid transformation of arterial roads into unauthorised economically viable and sustainable local mixed use activity corridors in the apartheid-planned residential townships like Chatsworth, Umlazi, Soweto, Chesterville and Phoenix connected by nodes by residents is becoming difficult for municipalities to manage. These business operate on sites zoned for residential purposes and provides a variety of goods and services within easy reach and at competitive prices comprising of clothing stores, essential services such as attorneys, auto services, tax consultants and specialty stores to residents. These business have created local economic development by creating employment and empowering women. This study demonstrates the rationale of unplanned local economic development on a local activity corridor, using the Florence Nightingale Drive unplanned mixed use local activity corridor and it also shows the innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship of the residents to improve their socio economic status over time without any municipal interventions. Using research methods such as a physical analysis of the study area, a review of the current zoning, land use surveys, interviews, an assessment of the built form and secondary data, it was found that the Florence Nightingale Drive is an unplanned economically viable and sustainable local mixed use activity corridor which has organically grown linearly by private initiative and entrepreneurship connected by a transport node and an urban node. This study investigates the reasons why Florence Nightingale Drive has transformed over time from 1970 into an economically viable and sustainable local activity corridor which has organically grown linearly by private initiative and entrepreneurship based on a physical assessment of the study area with interviews with the residents, business owners and municipal officials from Ethekwini Municipality. These businesses provides residents with easily accessible goods and services at competitive prices and also created and provide employment opportunities to residents within the study area and the broader Chatsworth. As peoples socio economic status changes over time from one generation to the next, the needs of the residents also changes. The results of the investigation of the study area has showed that although the currently zoned for residential uses only, Florence Nightingale Drive has transformed over time over time into an economically viable and sustainable local activity corridor by private initiative which employs an significant number of local residents. It has the characteristics of an activity corridor which is connected by a transport node and an urban node.