Vibrant or Dull Urban Spaces: Are City of Tshwane “A Re Yeng” and “Gautrain” Connector Points Places of Social and Economic Interaction?

Ndwandwe, Bongumusa and Gumbo, Trynos (2020) Vibrant or Dull Urban Spaces: Are City of Tshwane “A Re Yeng” and “Gautrain” Connector Points Places of Social and Economic Interaction? SHAPING URBAN CHANGE – Livable City Regions for the 21st Century. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2020, 25th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 987-997. ISSN 2521-3938

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Public transport infrastructure investments have been widely advocated for as catalysts for economic growth and development. They have also been regarded as pivots of functionality of economic nodes and communities. Thus, considerations of innovative strategies in investing in public transport infrastructure as contributors of socio-economic transformation through facilitating growth of business operations and creation of small-scale entrepreneurship has gained momentum. The common envisaged outcome of such innovative approaches is creation of vibrant urban centers and economic spaces characterized by a variety of social and economic activities. This paper investigated the impact of implementation of innovative urban public transport systems on business operations and formation of new small-scale businesses within the City of Tshwane. The study adopted mixed research approaches where qualitative and quantitative data were gathered concurrently. Field observations, key informant interviews, questionnaire administration were used for data collection. Subsequently, content data analysis was applied through the exploration of findings under various relevant themes of public transport infrastructure and business operations. Findings reveal limited improvement on business operations or formations, especially integration of previously disadvantaged communities and informal traders to the local economy. Even for few opportunities created, limited entrepreneurial skills, knowledge and expertise amongst people previously systematically excluded restrained them from taking advantage of such opportunities. Skewed focus on public transport infrastructure roll-out coupled with limited practical focus on socio-economic benefits as trickle-down effects was observed as another obstacle hindering creation of vibrant socio-economic spaces through public transport infrastructure investments. This work recommends the creation of activity nodes for social and economic interactions at connector points to the benefit of local economy and residents. To complement such, human capacity development and entrepreneurial skills development amongst the previously disadvantaged group is advocated for in to attain socio-economic transformation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Place Making, Public Transport Infrastructure, Activity Nodes, Business Operations, Vibrant Communities
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2021 09:58
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2021 09:58

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