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Urban Renewal

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In South Africa the URP was part of a National Urban Renewal Strategy announced by the former President Thabo Mbeki in his State of the Nation Address in February 2001. Urban Renewal is not unequally South Africa’s but is worldwide and takes many forms and economic activity process. These may include the upgrade of informal settlements and township development. In South Africa the NURS is co-ordinated and monitored by the National Departments of both the Provincial and Local Government. It focuses on deprived areas and involves the investments in economic and social infrastructure, human resource development, enterprise development, enhancements of neighbourhoods and service delivery, poverty alleviation and the strengthening of the criminal justice system.
Like any other implemented programmes, the URP had its own intended outcomes especially that will benefit the community at large. The Urban Renewal Programme proposes outcomes in five areas: * Infrastructure (effective service Delivery) Development * Social Development * Economic Development * Environmental Development * Safety and Security * Effective Governance
My report below will be about identifying urban problems of Rosettenville, Johannesburg a very old Johannesburg suburb which I have chosen as my study area. I will be basically focusing on urban renewal dimensions of Rosettenville and pinpointing at least 10 urban problems associated with urban renewal aspects which will fall under physical, social, economical and environment components and the different plans of addressing the urban problems. I will be providing a short profile of your selected area, Rosettenville in terms of demographic, social, economic, municipal / planning, functional details. Secondly the report will be identifying and describing the urban problems of Rosettenville which are symptomatic of Urban Renewal Programme. In the report I will also be outlining in details about the problems and also giving own point of view. The report will also be providing with the detailed situational analysis of Rosettenville in terms of the urban problems and also the involvements necessary to tackle these problems with the projects that are put in place.

Rosettenville is a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. It lies to the south of the city centre. Rosettenville is named after Leo (or Levin) Rosettenstein, who surveyed the land and sold stands before gold was discovered on the Witwatersrand. This area and has experienced decaying and underdevelopment. Rosettenville is an area defined by social and economic exclusion. There are a number of issues specific to the Rosettenville suburbs, which are: • A declining office environment in favour of the northern suburbs;
• Addressing dust and run-off pollution from mine dumps;
• Increasing safety and security; and
• The under-utilisation of precincts around the area.

.Thus I will present particulars on how the carrying out of the identified components and sub-components has impacted on Rosettenville livelihood through a rank quo analysis of the Rosettenville Urban Renewal Programme. Since I am only identifying 10 issues I will only dwell into to sub components for each component.


Rosettenville is a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. It lies to the south of the city centre. It covers an area of 3.24 km² and has a population of approximately 11,044 (3,410.38 per km²) and recorded households of about 3,951 (1,220.07 per km²). Rosettenville is located in close proximity to the CBD and its adjacent places include Kenilworth and old Oakdene, the suburb also includes the landmark Wemmer Pan recreational area. It’s filled with dilapidated buildings accommodating the unemployed, squatters and whole lot of social and economic problems. The table hereunder shows the population distribution of various ethnic groups, gender distribution and lastly the first language within Rosettenville; Population group | People | Percentage | Black African | 5,068 | 45.89% | White | 4,463 | 40.41% | Coloured | 1,110 | 10.05% | Indian or Asian | 404 | 3.66% |

Gender | People | Percentage | Female | 5,739 | 51.96% | Male | 5,306 | 48.04% |

First language | People | Percentage | English | 4,954 | 44.86% | isiZulu | 1,518 | 13.75% | Afrikaans | 1,333 | 12.07% | isiXhosa | 980 | 8.87% | Other | 776 | 7.03% | Sesotho | 433 | 3.92% | Sepedi | 293 | 2.65% | Xitsonga | 255 | 2.31% | Setswana | 252 | 2.28% | Tshivenda | 87 | 0.79% | isiNdebele | 86 | 0.78% | SiSwati | 75 | 0.68% |


Physical / Infrastructure development refer to the need for improved municipal infrastructure such as:

* Roads and Public Transportation * Water * Waste Management * Electricity * Rundown and Dilapidated Buildings * Sewer * Storm Water Drainage

These are going to be the sub components under the Physical/ Infrastructure component.

These all amount to service delivery and the basic needs of a functional area. As we have seen these past years residents from various places across the country protesting for the above. The lack of infrastructure is a problem in Rosettenville and other urban areas. Rosettenville has experienced an overall decline of these infrastructures due to the lack of urban management, of which it has resulted to the general degradation of Rosettenville urban environment and making it a place of poverty and decaying buildings.

The overall objective of this component in the Urban Renewal Programme is to provide reduced transport costs and times for commuters along with greater access to regional opportunities. The reduced physical segregation / isolation from adjacent city/town Increased access to facilities, goods and services in the township Enhanced intra township mobility and accessibility and improved use of existing capital/ infrastructure assets.

Infrastructure can deliver major benefit to creation of a secure and safe urban environment. There are a couple of backlogs in this area and in this report as I have mentioned above, The First section will be mainly about identifying 10 different issues that fall under the components which are physical, social, economical, financial, and environment. Later then in the second section of the paper I will be explaining and focusing on the Rosettenville Urban Renewal Plan and how it objects to tackle the problems and issues.

My scrutiny of Rosettenville in terms of Physical/ Infrastructure lead to the following findings:

Roads and Public Transportation
There is a need to modify and upgrade the road system to improve movement, connectivity, traffic flow, parking facilities and address traffic congestion. Although Rosettenville is Johannesburg’s oldest working-class lower density suburb, there are many light industries in surrounding areas and it thus houses a significant labour force. The area has a well developed road network but situated next to very busy Highways which become very congested during peak hours of traffic flow. Since it’s in the south as well it experiences sever pressure because of home-to-work northwards movement. While still on roads there are major unsafe pedestrian routes and damaged paving with potholes which clearly show no maintenance enforcement.

Rundown and Dilapidated Buildings
Rosettenville is distinguishing by a lot of dilapidated and run owed buildings. This is due to little or no investments being made in maintaining the building. Some of these buildings include old heritage buildings, and some end up acting as a house for criminal activities, making the area not being the safe place for the community. There are a lot of things that lead to a rundown building and sum of theses are: * The owner has abandoned the building or the building has been hijacked, and so there are no clear landlord/ caretaker structures or arrangements in place; * Residents are not paying rents and so owners do not have the means to pay for building upkeep; * Residents are paying, but the payments are not being utilized by the owner or manager to maintain the building or pay Council rates and service charges, often leading to restriction / disconnections of services, with a resultant compounding of the problem.

These buildings also results in lot of slum lording in the area which contributes mostly to the housing problem of the area.


Social Development refers to the basic social needs which in the end uplift the social beings of the people in the community. This component refers to the enhancing of access to a range of regional social opportunities Elimination or co-option of gangsterism and the other exploitative structures Increased number, range, capacity and connectivity of local community institutions. Reduced outmigration of human capacity and role models along with greater capacity of adults and those in positions of authority to act effectively against risky and anti social behaviour. There are also Sub Components of the Social Development Component which need to be tackled one-by-one in order to ensure a coherent social life, and these include:

* Poverty and unemployment. * Public Safety and Security * Social Facilities.

These are going to be the sub components under the Physical/ Infrastructure component.

In the case of Rosettenville social development is very poor in the area and it has experienced social exclusion. Rosettenville is known by issues such as poverty, unemployment, poor living conditions and inadequate social services which contribute mostly on the lack of social development strategies of the area. Social development is one of the major problems of Rosettenville because it does not look as a viable, safe community, mutually supportive community and a participatory and productive society.

Poverty and Unemployment.

Rosettenville is currently suffering from high levels of social exclusion and social underdevelopment, which results in the area not being mutually supportive and productive society. Social development is a result from issues such as poverty, unemployment, inadequate social services, poor living conditions, etc. The following can be defined as being the sub – components under the social development problems of Rosettenville.

Social Facilities.

Rosettenville has few social facilities to cater for the growing community some of the missing social facilities includes surgeries, skills development centers, recreational centers, clinic and youth development centers. There has been the idea that in developing countries such as South Africa, deficiency of resources favours felony. Unemployment is also related to poverty and both these sub components have a negative impact on the local economic development of an area.


Economic Development refers with citizens functioning jointly to attain sustainable economic development with the intention of economic benefits and an improvement in the quality of life for one and all in the particular population. Producing civilized jobs and sustainable financial actions. Improved competitive position of workers and work seekers in regional labour markets. Better performance and competitiveness of township businesses. Optimal performance of township residential property markets. Improved performance of retail and services market to benefit residents. There are a few sub components that fall under Economic development and I will only look deeply into two out of the following:

* Lack of skilled and trained people * High unemployment rates * Economic Exclusion

Rosettenville appears to contain a smaller amount to present economic development wise. These might be a product of a numerous problems such as the physical decay of the area which will make investors not to be interested in investing in the area, people with no decent jobs and unsustainable economic activities. Rosettenville is also characterized with lack of skills and poor management and maintenances of the existing businesses which might also be the result of the Rosettenville economy not to be sustainable.

High unemployment rates

Creation of employment opportunities and decent jobs contributes in the economic growth of an area as it was mentioned early in this report. In the case of Rosettenville, employment opportunities and creation of decent jobs is very slow in the area and the unemployment rate is very high. Since the area is next to a predominantly industrial region, most people here work in and around the south.

Lack of skilled and trained people

Rosettenville had been an area that suffered very low skills level base. Due to its informal setting, there was a serious lack of educational facilities. Those that were available were either hardly accessible or did not have the necessary resources that encouraged the community residents to attend. This eventually had damaging effects on the capability of the facilities to be sustained as they were white elephants. It also led to improved illiteracy rates that caused the neighbourhood be deficient in the ability to produce or attract skilled people that would contribute to its economic growth and sustainability. Individuals living in a certain area need to be well equipped with skills and be well educated as these will result in effective social and economic development. Rosettenville also have lot of people who are not well equipped with skills and education and the chances are that the people are not well employed and this is affecting the local economic development and as well as the social development of Rosettenville.


This refers to the urban agricultural land and accommodation which will in hand in hand with conserving the environment and these may also include those of attracting tourists. It suggests projects and programmes that can be developed to meet the projected needs and stimulate economic activity. It provides social, economic and biophysical objectives, indicators and strategies. Many developed open spaces in Rosettenville are not being used to their full potential due to a lack of maintenance of facilities. In terms of the Rosettenville being in the south and surrounded by both light and heavy industries the Economical Development is also there to address the environmental impact of the dust and run-off pollution from mine dumps. Coupled with reassessing the impact of development on environmentally sensitive areas. In making sure that the open spaces and areas of environmental conservations are protected and enhanced this component is therefore divided into sub components which are:

* Creating networks of Open Spaces * Supporting Storm Water Catchment Practises * Protecting Important Environmental Areas * Promote the Prevention and Reduction of Pollution

Protecting Important Environmental Areas

Rosettenville has the famous recreational Wemmer Pan, and like other recreational facilities in Rosettenville which face pressure from degradation caused by neglect, uncoordinated development and mismanagement. You also find heritage resources like old prestigious churches in Rosettenville which could be better utilised in enhancing the attraction of the area as a local and regional tourism destination.


The Interventions and approaches to address the above Components

Physical / Infrastructure Development

Initiating of the following projects can be used as strategies in addressing the physical / infrastructure development problems of Rosettenville. Improving mobility and accessibility in the area implement a public transport system linking the area to other areas Provision of affordable housing opportunities by upgrading the existing housing environment and also developing the old renowned buildings in the area. Initiating an affordable housing programme that will respond to the current overcrowding housing environment. The overall problems with regards to physical development can be simply addressed by means of establishing a good urban management strategy of the area that will be focusing more on the infrastructure. The strategies for physical and infrastructure development will have to be implemented within the whole full five years of the project, because some of the projects under these will be also addressing all the other problems mentioned. The strategies for physical and infrastructure development are as follows: Improving mobility and accessibility in the area Implement a public transport system linking the area to other areas Provision of affordable housing opportunities by upgrading the existing housing environment and also developing the old renowned buildings in the area. Initiating an affordable housing programme that will respond to the current overcrowding housing environment. The overall problems with regards to physical development can be simply addressed by means of establishing a good urban management strategy of the area that will be focusing more on the infrastructure of the area which includes your solid waste management, electricity, water supply, and also emphasising more on the municipal By Laws.astructure of the area which includes your solid waste management, electricity, water supply.

Social Development

The Social Development of an area is not a problem that needs to be implemented within timeframes but it must be an on-going process, but for the purpose of ensuring that the strategies for Social Development proceed as planned, they must be implemented within the five year duration of the whole project. The strategies for the Social Development problem of
Rosettenville are as follows:
Upgrading and redeveloping of the poorly managed flats and run downed buildings to provide a range of affordable housing and appropriate housing solutions to meet the current housing demand.
Initiating of skills development opportunities workshops, such as youth programmes, ABET and skills training centres which will assist in addressing the lack of skills currently being faced by Rosettenville.
Rezoning some of the run downed buildings and developing them into doctors surgeries, disable centres, multipurpose centres, etc. These will address the issues of lack of access to social facilities.
During the implementation of these projects, high levels of community participation and promotion of a civic pride needs to be taken into consideration. Economic Development.

The Economic Development problem of Rosettenville has been indentified and described to be having sub components including economic exclusion, unmaintained businesses and high levels of unemployment. Promoting only neighbourhood orientated retail and commercial development, which will have an impact on the local economy while also addressing the issues of unemployment in the area. Restoring the face of the fewer light industries in Rosettenville, this can also help in restoring the investment opportunities in the area and impact on the economic exclusion. Initiating a neighbourhood regeneration programme that will stimulate economic development and employment opportunities by providing training, supporting the establishment of new businesses and maintaining existing businesses. Renovating and rezoning all of the abounded buildings into affordable accommodation and business offices and any other uses that will promote economic development in the area. To address the high levels of unemployment in the area, focus need to be made in equipping the local residence with skills and better education, so that it can as it mostly in the employment market, which will further have a positive impact in the local economic growth. The main Economic Development of Rosettenville is to revitalise the Rosettenville retail area by improving urban design and management to encourage redevelopment and investment in the area.

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...Urban Growth and Decline Decisions made by individuals, groups and governments regarding urban growth and decline, are ways in which each are involved in addressing the issue. Urban growth and decline are the geographical processes that are constantly shaping Australian cities. Managing these issues within a city is a key role of geographers as they work to make cities desirable, efficient and sustainable areas to live. This response will examine range of decisions made by governments, groups and individuals. Therefore this response will explain how decision making by individuals, groups and governments, is involved in addressing urban growth and decline. The various Governments have been involved in the decision making process, in order to address urban growth and decline. There are many government decisions and responses. These include the City-West Redevelopment Program, the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and the Honeysuckle Development Corporation. The City-West Redevelopment Program was when the government constructed new urban infrastructure in the city of Pyrmont such as roads, lighting, communication, water, sewerage and telecommunication. This government response is highly effective because it brought 22,000 residents as it was an affordable housing program, which built houses which had water views and it also brought a working population of 26,000 people. Another government response is The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority. This administered the urban......

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