The spreading of the City Improvement District Model in Johannesburg and Cape Town: Urban regeneration and the neoliberal Agenda in South Africa

Abstract : The spreading of CIDs and connected forms of public–private partnership as an international model of urban renewal has been linked to the rise of ‘urban entrepreneurialism’ and the neoliberalization of policies and practices, at a time when competition between cities in the global economy has never been greater. The aim of the authors in this article is to explore the transfer and adaptation of the CID model in two cities of the South, Johannesburg and Cape Town. They argue that CIDs are an example of the local embeddedness of neoliberalism. They highlight the role of the private sector in importing and adapting CIDs in South Africa, and point out the rise of techno-politicians in CID management. Paying particular attention to discourses, they analyse the way images of decaying urban centres were used to legitimate the adoption of such schemes. The subsequent transformation of the model enables them also to explore the specificity of the adoption of this international best practice model in South Africa and its further circulation at the Southern African level: while CIDs in South Africa raise familiar North American issues regarding the private management of public spaces, they also question the very nature of the African city model proposed and envisioned locally.
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Sophie Didier, Elisabeth Peyroux, Marianne Morange. The spreading of the City Improvement District Model in Johannesburg and Cape Town: Urban regeneration and the neoliberal Agenda in South Africa. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley, 2012, 36 (5), http://www.ijurr.org/article/the-spreading-of-the-city-improvement-district-model-in-johannesburg-and-cape-town-urban-regeneration-and-the-neoliberal-agenda-in-south-africa/. ⟨http://www.ijurr.org/⟩. ⟨halshs-01471841⟩

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