Green-sighted but city-blind: developer attitudes to sustainable urban transformation

SOURCE: Urban Forum
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2015
TITLE AUTHOR(S): L.Seeliger, I.Turok
KEYWORDS: GREEN ECONOMY, SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, TRANSFORMATION, URBAN RENEWAL AND DEVELOPMENT (URD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 8657
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/1913

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Abstract

South Africa's sprawling, fragmented urban form remains essentially intact, despite the inequitable consequences and resource inefficiencies. Government policies have advocated urban integration-compaction for two decades, in the face of inertia and resistance from vested interests. This paper investigates the attitudes of developers towards the principles of sustainable urban transformation. Developers tend to favour a narrow agenda of new green buildings over more environmentally significant brownfield re-development and refurbished buildings. While they recognise the need for higher-density, mixed-use schemes within existing built-up areas, most remain reluctant to get directly involved themselves because of the perceived risks and uncertainties. Yet, several niche developers are breaking the mould and beginning to challenge such assumptions about the potential for profitable investment in hitherto neglected areas.