The creative city approach to urban generation: an evaluation of its benefits in Braamfontein Johannesburg

Khwashaba, Unarine
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand.
In the pursuit of creating post-industrial cities, the creative city approach was established in 1988 (Cohendet et al). During the 1990s the approach was intertwined with the process of urban regeneration (Cohendet et al). The creative city approach has facilitated many cities around the world in the transitioning from an industrial production based economy to a post-industrial knowledge based economy1, the knowledge based economy is currently the kind of economy which cities are using to compete globally (OECD,1996). The transition is made through the production, consumption and trading of products and services resulting from innovation/creativity .When an area or a city is regenerated using the creative city approach to urban regeneration certain benefits are encountered, these are benefits such as adequate housing with complementary utilities, diversity of job opportunities, convenience and creative centres where innovative skills are enhanced. This research report focuses on the evaluation of these benefits, in an attempt to answer the question of how do residents in Braamfontein benefit from the developments influenced by the creative city approach to urban regeneration. Residents refers to interviewees from three social groups namely the creative class, students and the blue-collar workers2. The reason why these categories were chosen is the fact that they are the top 3 dominant population in Braamfontein. The rationale for this evaluation is based on Landry and Johnathan (2009) and Hall’s (2008) argument that the evaluation of the benefits of the creative city approach helps to position a city and inspires it to do better by outlining its weaknesses, strengths, opportunities and threats, cities which lack evaluations often decline in the long or the short run. After conducting interviews and taking into consideration available literature, it was revealed that there is an imbalance in benefiting from the developments influenced by the creative city approach to urban regeneration i.e. the creative class benefit more than students and the blue-collar workers respectively, the reason for this is socio-economic exclusion. However if social innovation or artistic creativity was highly taken into consideration and supported in Braamfontein as economic or technological innovation , non skilled workers could have been highly benefiting too. The creative city approach to urban regeneration consist of different kinds of innovation which include economic innovation, social innovation and technological innovation, this will further be explained in the literature review. It was recommended that Students and the blue-collar workers can be integrated into the developments happening in the area through all-inclusive public spaces in order to empower them, improve their sense of belonging and improve their liveability in the area of Braamfontein. It was also recommended that social innovation which is synonymous artistic creativity should be supported by providing platforms where it should take place ,this will help non creative class residents to highly benefit from the development influenced by the creative city approach to urban regeneration.
A research report submitted to the School of Architecture and Planning, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of the Witwatersrand, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Science with Honours in Urban and Regional Planning.
Urban regeneration , Creative city approach , Post-industrial economy knowledge , Social innovation--SouthAfrica--Johannesburg--Braamfontein , Economic and technological innovation
Khwashaba, U. 2017. The creative city approach to urban generation: An evaluation of its benefits in Braamfontein Johannesburg. Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand.