Discuss Detroit DISCUSS DETROIT! Joburg revives inner city in just over a decade. Could regional Gov have done the same for Detroit? Previous Next
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Username: Miketoronto

Post Number: 763
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 10:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Many people don't like the idea that I consider Detroit and Joburg, South Africa as similar cities. But I do think they are similar and both have suffered many of the same issues over the years.

Like Detroit, Central Joburg was left for dead as white people fled the city along with the business to the suburbs. In the late 1990's, Joburg's iconic hotel the Carlton closed and remains vacant. The stock exchange moved to the suburbs, and the cbd office vacancy rate was 30% or higher, with the tallest building in Africa sitting empty.

Lets fast forward to today, and the situation is much different. Inner city Joburg was merged with all the wealthy suburbs, and money was diverted from the rich suburbs to pay for new services in the poorer suburbs and also to remake the inner city.

The results have been great. The CBD's office vacancy rate now sits at 8%, even with the economic troubles of the world recession. Middle class residents are moving back to the inner city, and crime is way down.
Retail stores that had fled to the wealthy suburbs are now reopening in the CBD, and Africa's tallest building is now over 90% leased.

In many regards it can be said that Joburg fell harder than Detroit, but the comeback while not finnished has been much faster, due to a regional outlook and the ability to pool money metropolitan wide.

Your views on this??

(Message edited by miketoronto on March 13, 2009)
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Username: Hybridy

Post Number: 272
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 11:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

sounds like detroit could learn a thing or two:

Reviving the city centre is one of the main aims of the municipal government of Johannesburg. Drastic measures have been taken to reduce crime in the city. These measures include closed-circuit television on street corners. As of December 11 2008, every street corner in Johannesburg central is under high-tech CCTV surveillance.[9] The CCTV system, operated by the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD), is also able to detect stolen or hijacked vehicles by scanning the number plates of every vehicle traveling through the CBD, then comparing them to the eNaTIS database. The CCTV system has proven to be very effective. The average response time by police for crimes committed in the CBD is under 60 seconds.
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 4283
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009 - 11:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit may be bad, but Joburg is still a basketcase. This is entirely the wrong kind of comparison and lesson learning that Detroit needs. lol

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