The rejuvenation of Florida Rd began in 2013 as a result of the efforts of local property owners, businesses and community groups, who banded together to form the Florida Road Urban Improvement Precinct (UIP).
A legislated and representative body, the Florida Rd UIP was officially legislated in July 2013, with on the ground services beginning on 1st October 2013. Tasked with managing public space along the full length of Florida Rd from Lilian Ngoyi Rd intersection in the south to Innes Rd in the north and including properties on both sides of the road, the UIP aims to:
- Retain existing investment and build investor confidence
- Create an environment which supports vibrant and responsible business activity
- Improve safety, the general environment and quality of life for the benefit of all
- Respond to the challenge of environmental sustainability
The UIP is recognised by the eThekwini Municipality as an official service provider to public areas in Florida Rd and as such, motivates, lobbies and works with them to collectively manage public space.
To achieve this, the UIP acts through the direction of the UIP board, and according to an annual service agreement with the municipality that specifies what services it will provide and what needs to be provided by council. The UIP status of “official service provider” to the area allows for significant leverage in optimising municipal service delivery in Florida Rd and collectively focuses on delivering an exceptional experience of public space in this key Durban node.
Urban decay is a reality of most cities throughout the world, and the creation of public space management structures is one way to ensure that this phenomenon does not negatively affect an area, but instead shifts the focus to growth and urban renewal. The nature of a UIP structure is to partner with local municipalities to improve the quality of an area’s public space and has a proven track record of combating urban decay.
“The positive effects of UIP type structures, are being felt all over KZN where property values are enhanced, business activity is supported and the environment and quality of life for all users is greatly improved,” said Brian Wright, owner of UrbanMgt, the company contracted to establish and manage the Florida Road UIP.
The UIP management team is constantly responding to the ever-evolving needs of Florida Rd, whether it be service levels or special projects. This said, the fundamentals of managing crime and grime will always be the top priority and remain the foundation of the UIPs’ success.