The Adaptative Nature of Neoliberalism at the Local Scale: Fifteen Years of City Improvement Districts in Cape Town and Johannesburg
Article first published online: 27 MAR 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Antipode © 2012 Antipode Foundation Ltd.
Volume 45, Issue 1, pages 121–139, January 2013
How to Cite
Didier, S., Morange, M. and Peyroux, E. (2013), The Adaptative Nature of Neoliberalism at the Local Scale: Fifteen Years of City Improvement Districts in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Antipode, 45: 121–139. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8330.2012.00987.x
- Issue published online: 13 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 27 MAR 2012
- urban regeneration;
- urban policy mobilities;
- business improvement districts;
- Cape Town
Abstract: By unravelling the adoption and adaptation of the North American Business Improvement District (BID) model in South African cities, this paper considers the way neoliberal principles are making their way in the post-apartheid context. Drawing on a comparative approach of BIDs in Johannesburg and Cape Town, we analyse the tensions and conflicts surrounding their implementation and unpack the resilience of this model. As unexpected as this resilience might be in such a context, that is, far away from the heartland of neoliberalism, we argue that this resilience is linked to the permeability of the local contexts and to the plasticity of the model itself at the city and neighbourhood levels, reflecting a capacity to adapt to inherited regulatory frameworks, patterns of territorial development and embedded socio-political alliances of the local terrains, as well as an ability to accommodate post-apartheid issues through the crafting of what we refer to as “local Third Ways”.