Revitalising South African City Centres Through ICT

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Revitalising South African City Centres Through ICT

  • Dillip Kumar Das Sustainable Transportation Research Group, School of Engineering, Howard College, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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Abstract:  The majority of South African city centres are in a state of degeneration and need revitalising. The factors that contributed to the degeneration and how the integration of information and communications technology (ICT) can be used to revitalise them were examined in three South African city centres. The research was grounded in place theory. A survey method, including the Delphi technique, followed by factor analysis, and ordinal regression modelling was used to collect and analyse data. The findings indicated that enhancing accessibility and safety, social and community involvement, human experience, built-up environment, and vibrancy were the five major components which needed reinforcing to revitalise the city centres. However, ICT-linked strategies, including networking the areas with free Wi-Fi hotspots, creating places in which to congregate, providing digital screens, and installing cameras and remote monitoring, are expected to attract people and to facilitate accessing real-time information about different events, marketing, branding, and creating a unique image. Also, the use of ICT will assist in reducing criminal activities and dispel the fear of crime. The combined effect is likely to encourage people and businesses to return the city centres, making these areas vibrant and accessible.

Keywords:  Bloemfontein; city centres; degeneration; ICT; place theory; Port Elizabeth; Pretoria; revitalisation; South Africa

Published:   17 November 2021


© Dillip Kumar Das. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.