By ^GZ – I was with the Department of Development Planning on their Urban Development Framework initiative for Mayfair and Fordsburg recently. It was disappointing to say the least.
Coming from a series of vibrant meetings such as the Integrated Development Plan (IDP), where community members came out in their numbers to participate only to arrive at the Jan Hofmeyr Recreation Centre in Brixton where the Urban Development Framework exhibition was held, I only found two people who were City officials and no residents on site.
Residents were invited to come view the development plans at the exhibition, engage the City officials on their plans and make recommendations. The exhibition defined and guided the development vision and objectives in Mayfair and Fordsburg for the next five years, which is why it is important to have the communities’ involvement in these meetings so that they can have an input on what upgrades their communities receive. The City had dedicated five hours of their time to the community and only about a handful of people showed up.
Unfortunately, there have been complications to get the project going since 2015. From my understanding, the communities are greatly divided. There are parts of the community who are delaying the process by not participating and going back and forth with their decision-making. However, the Department of Development Planning is committed and confident that the project will get to completion eventually, but this will only really happen through cooperation with the Mayfair and Fordsburg communities working in unison.
The two areas are being considered for a project that is looking at upgrading the community spaces. This forms part of the City’s objective to seek a spatial framework to guide development in Mayfair and Fordsburg. Since the areas are two of the City’s oldest districts, and are entrenched with rich cultural and political history; these areas are a key priority in the City’s Spatial Development Plan.
Mayfair and Fordsburg form part of the inner city – the most strategic development node within the City. The Urban Development Framework is investing in supportive infrastructure that enables the vision of a high quality public environment. The focus is on improving the quality of living environments, social facilities and access to opportunities in those areas. The City aims to support and contribute to economic growth to create employment in Mayfair and Fordsburg with this project as well as improve likeability and attract investment.
The City truly has some amazing ideas to improve Mayfair and Fordsburg. It would be interesting to see how it carries those ideas out. Residents of the area are urged to take an interest on how the City plans to revamp their spaces, attend the meetings, participate and be involved.
Find out more on what the Department of Development Planning is working on in your part of the City.