1st Edition

Vernacular Regeneration Low-income Housing, Private Policing and Urban Transformation in inner-city Johannesburg

By Aidan Mosselson Copyright 2019
    188 Pages
    by Routledge

    188 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Urban regeneration is currently taking place in inner-city Johannesburg. This book presents an alternative, multi-layered account for reading the process of urban change and renewal.

    The provision of social and affordable housing and the spread of private security are explored through the lenses of neoliberal urbanism, gentrification, the privatisation of public space and revanchist policing. This book interrogates these concepts and challenges their assumptions based on new qualitative and ethnographic evidence emerging out of Johannesburg. Dated concepts in Critical Urban Studies are re-evaluated and the book calls for an alternative, adaptable approach, focusing on how we develop a vocabulary and creative understanding of urban regeneration.

    This book is an outstanding contribution to theoretical and comparative approaches to understanding cities and processes of urban change. It offers practical insights and experiences which will be of considerable use to practitioners, policy-makers and urban planning students.

    1. Thinking with and through Johannesburg 2. An overburdened process: the competing agendas, imperatives and outcomes of inner-city regeneration 3. The contradictory praxis of regeneration 4. Urban management and security: private policing, atmospheres of control and everyday practices 5. Ambiguous experiences of regeneration: spatial capital, agency and living in-between 6. The space that regeneration makes: regulation, security and everyday life 7. Conclusion: towards a vernacular theorisation of urban change


    Aidan Mosselson is currently a Newton International Fellow, based at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, University of Sheffield. He completed his PhD in Social Geography at University College London in 2015 and was Associate Lecturer in the Sociology Department at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He held a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Johannesburg and the Gauteng City-Region Observatory. In 2017, he was awarded an International Fellowship by the Urban Studies Foundation, which supported a stint as a Visiting Fellow at LSE Cities.