Revitalizing the Bloemfontein CBD: Prospects, Obstacles and Lost Opportunities

Gijsbert Hoogendoorn, Gustav Visser, Molefi Lenka, Lochner Marais, Deidre Van Rooyen, Anita Venter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Urban change has systematically been researched for more than a century. One of the key foci has been the Central Business Districts (CBDs) of cities. The past decades has seen an extensive literature develop on CBD decline focusing on why such decay sets in and which strategies, as well as policies, that might be deployed to stimulate the revitalisation of these areas. The debates are, however, in the main developed within the context of large cities, whilst the geographical focus tends to be on countries of the post-industrial north. In the South African context, a small, but nevertheless significant literature has developed chronicling both CBD decline and subsequent revitalisation strategies deployed to reverse such decline. Similar to the international experience, the focal point has been South Africa's main metropolitan regions, whilst secondary cities have remained beyond the investigatory focus. The aim of this paper was to provide an outline of the prospects and obstacles that face CBD revitalisation in the secondary city of Bloemfontein. It is argued that whilst generic revitalisation programmes in cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg have seemingly stemmed further CBD decline, other strategies might be required in secondary cities such as Bloemfontein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-174
Number of pages16
JournalUrban Forum
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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