The Dube TradePort-King Shaka International Airport mega-project: Exploring impacts in the context of multi-scalar governance processes
Amsterdam Institutes for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands; School of Built Environment and Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Mega-projects aimed at enhancing urban economic infrastructure have been widely recognised as a feature of cities in which influential actors are eager to encourage economic growth. They have also been described as being central in influencing physical patterns of city growth through their direct and indirect impacts on land-uses. Whilst such initiatives are not necessarily new, it has been noted in more recent urban development experiences that these projects tend to involve crafting highly complex, mixed-use environments through a variety of forms of public-private collaboration. Furthermore, they are promoted not only in instrumental terms as facilities or infrastructure to serve a need of a particular economic process, but are also often packaged and motivated as comprehensive urban developments that can reposition the image of cities in a highly competitive global investment environment. Such processes are both influenced by and, in turn, influence multi-scalar governance processes and practices, both in the planning and motivating projects, as well as in their operations. The new King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) and Dube TradePort (DTP), located some 35km north from the City of Durban in South Africa, were projects developed with the intention of replacing an apparently obsolete facility so as to enable the region to attract more international aviation links that could, in turn, support tourism and exports. Based on analysis of documents and a range of stakeholder interviews, the paper shows how the development of the facilities and the associated impacts, from the shaping of space to meeting of operational targets, have been influenced by and also influenced the character of governance arrangements. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
airport; governance approach; private sector; public sector; urban development; urban economy; urban planning; Durban; KwaZulu-Natal; South Africa