CALLING all those interested in the ongoing development of the inner city – nominations for the Johannesburg Development Agency Halala Joburg Awards close on 19 March.

“Walking around the inner city we see all the improvements. There are incredible investments,” says Lael Bethlehem, the chief executive officer of the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA). “People don’t always know [about these investments]. They have a static view. Halala [awards will] bring to light these investments.”

Joanne Millan, the head of research at Thabisa Consulting, the project managers of the awards, says all projects that were completed by the end of January 2010 can be nominated as this will increase the number of nominees and add to the hype around the awards.

Focus will be made on old buildings, parks and open spaces following the deadline as nominees will have to prove worthy of receiving an award. “The inner city is ready to proudly display the remarkable regeneration achievements that have taken place,” says Millan.

The seven categories for which projects can be nominated are: Living Joburg; Working and Buying Joburg; Relaxing and Playing Joburg; Sustaining Joburg; Caring Joburg; Believing in Joburg; and Conserving Joburg.

Nominations opened on 11 February and any project or person that has contributed significantly to reviving and uplifting the inner city can be nominated, provided the projects were operating by the end of January.

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For information on the criteria for nominations, click here.

This year’s winners will be announced at an investment conference in May, hosted by the JDA, in which nominees will also be given an opportunity to present their projects to other nominees, investors, analysts and academics.

“The conference will bring together an alliance of all of us who are concerned with inner city regeneration. Halala is about cementing that alliance,” says Bethlehem.