Urban regeneration and sustainablitlity: Durban's conflicting agendas
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To what extent do cities take sustainability into account in their urban regeneration strategies?
Sylvia Hannan used three mega-projects in Durban as a case study to investigate whether and how sustainability was incorporated into the city's planning and development.
In recent decades, urban regeneration has become increasingly important to cities regarding their urban development goals and aspirations. Mega-projects can be classified as an urban regeneration strategy, and these large-scale urban development projects are strategically used by cities to reposition themselves within the global competitive landscape. In the context of globalisation and neo-liberal1 urban restructuring, mega-projects aim to enhance the image of cities, and have become increasingly prominent as tools to promote cities, as well as attract investment and tourism.
Mega-projects consequently play a vital role in the development and urban regeneration of cities, such as Durban. Within the same context, there is a need to promote sustainable cities, and sustainability has therefore emerged as a central concept in the management of cities. Sustainability represents the ideal scenario that adequately incorporates economic, social, ecological and governance aspects within the planning and development of cities.
Urban regeneration and sustainability have therefore emerged as parallel agendas within urban policy and planning. An investigation into three of Durban's mega-projects, to establish whether these agendas were mutually supportive or conflicting, revealed some important findings.