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The urban politics of a large scale housing investment: The case of the Cornubia housing project in Durban, South Africa. Catherine Sutherland, Dianne.

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Presentation on theme: "The urban politics of a large scale housing investment: The case of the Cornubia housing project in Durban, South Africa. Catherine Sutherland, Dianne."— Presentation transcript:

1 The urban politics of a large scale housing investment: The case of the Cornubia housing project in Durban, South Africa. Catherine Sutherland, Dianne Scott, Vicky Sim and Glen Robbins

2 1. Introduction The shift to state-led entrepreneurial governance and the tension between pro-poor and pro-growth agenda is strongly evident in South Africa. Wide range of actors who support, resist or challenge the state, & actively produce pro-growth and pro- poor space production in South Africa Spatial planning & economic development therefore reveals the struggles and conflicts between a range of actors as they attempt to exercise power over space. Aim: To explore the history and politics of the Cornubia housing project in eThekwini Municipality,

3 2. Theoretical framework The paper draws on the theoretical ideas developed by Lefebvre and others on territory and the spatial articulations of state power in urban development (Brenner, 2004; Elden, 2004; Brenner and Elden, 2009) Brenner (2004): There is a need to understand new spaces that are being produced under contemporary neoliberal capitalism. – These spaces of the entrepreneurial city reveal the entanglement of economic growth and redistribution under neo-liberalism development – In different cities, these spaces emerge as forms of actually existing neoliberalism (Theodore and Brenner, 2004).

4 The territory effect (Brenner, 2004) – Spatial articulations of power which are revealed in the process of territorialisation which creates new politico-spatial forms (Elden, 2005, 2007, 2009) This paper argues that it is not only the state, but rather a range of actors who attempt to exercise power over space Lefebvres (1974) ideas related to the production of space are applied and linked to those of territory.

5 Cornubia Land Ownership (SSI, 2011) 3. Cornubia Housing Project Major project in northern development corridor of eThekwini Municipality – South of King Shaka airport – 1 200ha/ 750 ha is developable – It is historically owned by the Tongaat Hulett Group – 2005: Public Private Partnership between Tongaat Hulett Developments (THD) and the Municipality – Municipality purchased 580 ha from Tongaat Hulett

6 4. Provincial and local development corridors The Cornubia land is strategically situated within development corridors identified in provincial and local government strategies Plans and schemes reflect abstract spaces produced by these actors to reflect their dominant discourses 1.The Provincial Spatial Economic Strategy 2.Northern Urban Development Corridor

7 5. Negotiation over space within a private-public partnership Tongaat Hulett Developments initially conceptualised a Cornubia as a mixed use development in 2004 – sugar cane land In 2005, a plan was unveiled as an integrated mixed income, mixed use development – Aligned with the National Housing requirement - all developments include 20% low-cost housing

8 5.1 Conflict, struggles and the territorialisation of space Negotiations have been protracted over the – land ownership – the housing mix Struggles, conflicts and discourses constructed over a number of critical issues – Housing opportunities – Ownership of land – releasing of private land – Co-operation and partnerships (Provincial & National) 2011 – no development as yet

9 6. Actors and discourses in the production of territory The state (national, provincial & local) and private sector, with their associated consultants, have played a major role in shaping the development of Cornubia - PPP Political Parties: ANC and DA City officials and councillors – Technical experts (consultants) National and provincial government Landowner : Tongaat Hulett – mixed use

10 Actors and discourses in the production of territory However, local communities and civil society have responded to the development, claiming their rights over space: – The wealthier community of Umhlanga/Durban North – Adjacent lower income residents - very positive – Abahlalibase Mjondolo (the Durban Shack-dwellers Movement) berates all actors in Cornubia development process for not consulting & exploiting the unhoused poor – Blackburn informal settlement: 30 years.

11 7. Areas of alignment and divergence in the spatial planning for Cornubia There are now two competing plans: – The Municipalitys Verulam-Cornubia Local Area Plan (approved March 2011) – holds most weight – The Cornubia Framework Plan (CFP) prepared for Municipality and Tongaat Hulett as co-owners of the Cornubia site – PPP Plan – might dominate Many points of convergence and some areas of contradiction between the two plans Plans are generally aligned around: – core road network and open space structure/ mix of residential types – the noise contour restriction of no residential development within the 55dB noise contour Diverge around location of town centres & nature/location of retail and commercial activity

12 8. Conclusion The abstract spaces represented by the plans & discourses produced by a set of dominant actors involved in the development of Cornubia, reflect entrepreneurial governance in a post-apartheid city They reveal the role of the state & private sector in creating a local and globally competitive growth region and the tension between pro-growth and pro-poor development in these discourses Shifts in the planning of this space, such as the amount of low income housing, and the issue of landownership, reflect the struggles and tensions among dominant actors over territory.

13 The everyday lived worlds and socio-economic spaces of ordinary citizens are flattened out and disappear in these abstract spaces. The proposed plans superimpose a new form of territory over the space of Cornubia, and reveal the territorial practices of this space: such as the demarcation of physical and material spaces, the invention of new boundaries and edges, and the visualisation of large scale infrastructure patterns.

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