The story of Joburg’s CBD in post-apartheid SA has been one of various attempts at regeneration in the face of urban decay. These have had differing degrees of success and have suffered assorted setbacks, from the early inner-city developments in Newtown, to the precincts such as Maboneng and Braamfontein, Gandhi Square, 1Fox and several others. The recent launches of Jewel City and Towers Main in the Absa Precinct have ushered in a new phase of development, bringing some much-needed economic diversity to the hipster-heavy earlier models.

A more idiosyncratic take on urban regeneration, in Lorentzville, known as Victoria Yards, recently found itself in the global spotlight. This remarkable development — a 30,000m² derelict former industrial laundry dating to the early 1900s — won top honours at the Urban Land Institute’s inaugural ULI Europe Awards for Excellence, which "recognise outstanding urban development projects". Victoria Yards — launched in 2017 — received the award a...

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