INNER City restoration, revitalisation and regeneration is again in the news, with work on old buildings, parks and open spaces the focus as the annual Halala Joburg Awards get under way.
Nominations for the awards, managed by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), opened on 11 February, and anyone can enter a project or individual who has made a significant contribution to the regeneration of the inner city. The deadline is 19 March.

The awards acknowledge outstanding contributions and commitments to reviving and uplifting the inner city. There are seven categories: Living Joburg; Working and Buying Joburg; Relaxing and Playing Joburg; Sustaining Joburg; Caring Joburg; Believing in Joburg; and Conserving Joburg.

They have been run by the JDA for the past three years. And the agency was very keen this year to get lots of nominations, particularly high quality ones with regard to substantial and complete projects within the inner city, said Lael Bethlehem, its chief executive, at the launch of the 2010 Halala Joburg Awards.

She compared previous Halala Joburg Awards, saying nominations increased each year. “Entries have grown over past years, starting from 35 nominations in the first year and 100 in the second year.”

Investment conference
Turbine Hall, one of the previous award winners Turbine Hall, one of the previous award winners This year, the JDA would not announce the winners at a gala evening, but would rather set aside an entire day for a fully fledged investment conference, which it aimed to keep as a structure for future Halala Joburg Awards, Bethlehem said.
Each nominee will be given a chance to present their projects so that other nominees and investors become aware of what is going on in the city. There will also be a number of sessions between investors, analysts and academics involving public private partnerships that have been formed.

The handing out of trophies to winners will conclude the investment conference.

Joanne Millan, the head of research at Thabiso Consulting, the project managers of the awards, said: “The inner city is ready to proudly display the remarkable regeneration achievements that have taken place. In its third year of recognising such achievements, the JDA’s Halala Joburg Awards will be showcasing the most innovative and impactful projects and people that our inner city has to offer.”
The awards recognise “the tenacity, faith and commitment of those who have joined the collective regeneration effort that has seen Joburg’s inner city regain her dignity and take her place as the centre of a world-class African City”.

Detail from the Colosseum Award, which recognises work in conserving the heritage of JohannesburgDetail from the Colosseum Award, which recognises work in conserving the heritage of Johannesburg Nominations may be individuals and projects, and are not limited to companies and consortiums. Nominations for individuals must identify people who have contributed to the quality of life and the social fabric of the inner city.
Projects which are submitted have to be located within the inner city and must have made a significant difference to the City’s regeneration mandate. There are no age requirements but judging will be biased to regeneration projects that have taken place over the past 10 years, as long as the projects are operational on the date nominations close.

Individuals can nominate themselves. To make a nomination, download the trigger form and view the criteria for the seven categories, criteria, and terms and conditions, online.

Living Joburg, with the sub-theme “Not houses but homes”, recognises residential projects that provide innovative, progressive and inclusive housing that addresses inner city residents’ needs and supports developing the community.

“The Living Joburg category has received a significant boost in the volume and variety of nominations, with a number of entrepreneurs making their appearance in response to the risks they have taken in providing accessible and affordable housing in the city, while those who have undertaken to provide luxury inner city living have also been included,” said Millan.

Working and Buying Joburg, with the sub theme “Creating a business destination”, recognises innovative, exciting and striking commercial and retail developments that attract people to the city.

Relaxing and Playing Joburg, with the sub theme “The recreation destination”, recognises creativity and innovation with regard to the built environment to provide daring use of new and old buildings and exciting use of space to create unique recreational experiences.
This includes the original use of public space, urban art, sports and recreation, and entertainment facilities, such as gyms, restaurants and theatres, among others.