Urban renewal : a case study of Clare Estate.
A variety of factors are responsible for the degeneration and decay of an urban area. A neglected urban area rife with decay, negatively affects the economic, social and environmental sustainability of a neighbourhood. A direct link can be established between the state of an urban area and the quality of life the residents of that area may experience, the performance of the local economy and the condition of the surrounding natural environment. This study examined whether Clare Estate has experienced urban decay, what the possible causes are that have contributed towards the decay are, how the existing decay can be addressed and whether or not Clare Estate requires and can benefit from urban renewal intervention. Through various methods of research such as conducting questionnaire surveys, interviews, observation studies, mapping and analysis of Clare Estate it was deduced that the suburb is experiencing economic, social and environmental decay. It was found that Clare Estate is experiencing frictional, functional, physical and economic blight. The abandoned and neglected buildings, vacant sites, illegal landJ uses, lack of public open spaces and exceedingly high crime levels have all contributed to the decay of the area. The overwhelming amount of informal settlements within Clare Estate and the location of the Bisasar Road landfill are also both significant contributors to the deterioration of the area. They have created an unappealing aesthetic environment, which has consequently created an unpleasant environment for residents, patrons and community members. Clare Estate has experienced years of neglect and mismanagement, which can be attributed to poor coordination and communication between stakeholders. In order to reverse the effect years of decay has had on Clare Estate; the implementation of urban renewal initiatives is required. The community of Clare Estate will gain a stronger local economy, reinforced and intensified community bonds and a healthier and safer environment, through the use of urban renewal intervention. The recommendations made for the renewal of Clare Estate involves an approach that requires input from all stakeholders. In order for the renewal of Clare Estate to occur in a sustainable manner, a publicJprivate partnership that encourages and supports the involvement of the community members of Clare Estate was seen as the most fitting method of urban renewal. Addressing the issue of high crime rates, informal settlements, landfill rehabilitation and road maintenance is instrumental in the renewal process. The use of an onJgoing urban management programme is essential in ensuring the community of Clare Estate continues the proper maintenance and upkeep of their surrounding environment as this will ensure the longevity of Clare Estate.