Decayed areas 'still have amenities'

Posted On Wednesday, 18 July 2007 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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It is easier to bring the commercial component to a residential area than the other way around

Infrastructure IndustryIt is easier to bring the commercial component to a residential area than the other way around, so regeneration of Yeoville will prove easier than efforts in inner-city areas that had no original residential infrastructure, says property economist Francois Viruly, of Viruly Consulting.

Concerns have been raised that a lot of urban regeneration efforts in Johannesburg's inner-city areas are focused on converting offices into residential units in what were previously nonresidential areas.

Commentators have said previously that office nodes, such as Johannesburg's financial district in the western end of the central business district, have no social infrastructure such as parks, schools, police stations and clinics.

They say it would make more sense to regenerate inner-city fringe areas such as Hillbrow, Yeoville and Berea, because they have always been residential areas and have the necessary social infrastructure, such as parks and clinics.

City Re-Mix's regeneration plan for Yeoville's Rockey Street fits in with these suggestions as Yeoville is an established residential area with infrastructure.

Viruly says the conversion of offices for residential use in the inner city can be successful only if the city can successfully convert the infrastructure in office nodes for residential use.

"Residential nodes need schools, parks and related social infrastructure, which are rarely provided in an office node. If the conversion of some of these offices is going to be successful, local authorities need to come to the party and create the necessary infrastructure," says Viruly.

But he says it is easier to regenerate existing residential areas in the inner city. Viruly says that in nodes such as Hillbrow and Yeoville, there is already a fair amount of social infrastructure. "They have a residential component, schools and other social amenities. What we should be doing, as far as urban regeneration is concerned, is support existing residential nodes rather than focusing on the conversion of offices into residences in areas where there is no social infrastructure."

He says that in the past there was a tendency to focus on new areas rather than improve existing residential nodes.

"What is very positive is that we are seeing an existing residential node receiving attention and what we need to do in these residential nodes is comple ment the residential usage with other usages such as office, entertainment and educational facilities."



Last modified on Saturday, 02 November 2013 11:27

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