35 participants from South Africa and Germany came together to discuss current challenges and potentials of urban development. The focus of the event, which was organized as part of the GIZ project “Dialogues for Urban Change (D4UC)”, was peer-to-peer consultation on issues of integrated and community-oriented urban development based on eight living labs of the participating cities. These living labs are ongoing urban development projects that deal with the revitalization of inner cities and neighbourhood centres as well as the creation of liveable and safe public spaces for all residents.
A special feature of the network is the multi-level dialog. Participants in the network are representatives of the:
- Municipal level: KwaDukuza, Nelson Mandela Bay, uMhlathuze, Stellenbosch, Karlsruhe, Ludwigsburg, Nuremberg and Bottrop,
- Municipal umbrella organizations of both countries: South African Local Government Association (SALGA), The South African Cities Network (SACN), German Association of Cities (DST),
- lead ministries: Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), South Africa and the Federal Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Building as well as
- other South African ministries: Department of Human Settlements and National Treasury.
As a living lab of the host city, Nuremberg’s city center was particularly highlighted at this network meeting. In the lively city center, where new innovative approaches are being tested with the „City Werkstatt“, the focus was on focus on economic revitalization of important inner-city shopping streets. These streets are characterized by vacancies, downgrading of the range of goods on offer and outdated public spaces. In a friendly competition, three mixed working groups developed strategical and methodological approaches and initial proposals for the revitalization of vacant commercial buildings and the revitalization of the selected shopping streets. Other highlights of the event included a visit to the former „Quelle Complex“ and an examination of Nuremberg’s past using the example of the former Nazi party rally grounds.
The next network meeting is to be held in KwaZulu-Natal/South Africa in February 2024.
Commissioned by: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Period: 2022 – 2024