Urban Forum

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 173–188 | Cite as

An Uneasy Match: Neoliberalism, Gentrification and Heritage Conservation in Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa

  • Ronnie Donaldson
  • Nico Kotze
  • Gustav Visser
  • JinHee Park
  • Nermine Wally
  • Janaina Zen
  • Olola Vieyra


It is increasingly argued that gentrification is incorporated into public policy and the by-product of a range of contemporary neoliberal urban development policies intent on attracting investment capital. However, gentrification can also be the unintended outcome of well-meaning urban policy frameworks, such as urban densification, inner-city regeneration and urban heritage conservation but with arguably negative consequences. Focusing on Cape Town, the argument of this paper is that one of the outcomes of a neoliberalist approach to urban regeneration in the city centre is the impact it has on conserving the living and built environment heritage of the historic Bo-Kaap district. The last remaining inner-city neighbourhood that has not yet gentrified appears to be succumbing to this process. The outcome is a neighbourhood which is in economic and social flux and challenging the coherence of this once “indigenous” community.


Housing Unit South African City Historic Preservation Civic Association Densification Planning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronnie Donaldson
    • 1
  • Nico Kotze
    • 2
  • Gustav Visser
    • 3
  • JinHee Park
    • 4
  • Nermine Wally
    • 4
  • Janaina Zen
    • 4
  • Olola Vieyra
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Geography and Environmental StudiesUniversity of StellenboschStellenboschSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Geography, Environmental Management & Energy StudiesUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of GeographyFree State UniversityFree StateSouth Africa
  4. 4.Public Affairs, Sciences PoParisFrance

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