12.1 Introduction

Successful urban neighbourhoods provide a unique and enriching life choice for residents and the community. All neighbourhoods across the city serve a local community, while some are also home to national landmarks and institutions. Irrespective of their unique and varying characteristics, a common theme is that good neighbourhoods serve as focal points for the surrounding community with a range of services and facilities, typically in a vibrant and attractive physical environment. The inherent strength of a good neighbourhood is that it is small enough to engender a sense of belonging and community with opportunities for chance encounters and casual meet-and-greets between people going about their daily activities.

The real value of any neighbourhood is its community, with people, individually and collectively, being the city’s strongest asset. Quality neighbourhoods are responsive to the needs of local communities, play an important role in quality of life factors and foster a wider sense of community and active citizenship.

This chapter sets out an holistic and inclusive approach to neighbourhood and community development. It defines the essence of a good urban neighbourhood in order to strengthen existing neighbourhoods and to emulate the qualities of good neighbourhoods in the newly emerging developing areas throughout the city. It places a strong emphasis on community and stakeholder engagement, harnessing the resources and capacities within the wider community and acknowledging the enhanced participatory mechanisms under the Local Government Reform Act, 2014.