Economically Incentivising Smart Urban Regeneration. Case Study of Port Louis, Mauritius
Received: 25 July 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 4 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
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Port Louis, the capital city of Mauritius, has been the preferred city for hosting the judicial, political and business activities of the country for the past two centuries. However, new policies have created nine new smart cities in greenfield locations within 10 km
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Port Louis, the capital city of Mauritius, has been the preferred city for hosting the judicial, political and business activities of the country for the past two centuries. However, new policies have created nine new smart cities in greenfield locations within 10 km from Port Louis, so the capital city is facing economic decline as it is losing businesses, as well as administrative functions. This loss equates to an erosion in municipal revenue along with a reduced interest in contributing to the development of the city; all of which takes a toll on its urban economic landscape, as well as on the broader Mauritian economy. This paper builds from the findings of a focus group study to propose a smart urban regeneration model for the City of Port Louis, which could enable the old city to be restored and regenerated rather than redeveloped in modernist architecture, as has happened in the new smart cities model. A smart urban regeneration model is proposed backed by the pillars of smart infrastructure, culture, metabolism and governance. The proposed model is applied to the context of Port Louis to generate an urban regeneration scheme. The potential benefits in terms of financial outcomes, investment attraction and job creation are explored through a combined application of econometric forecasting models. The results support positive figures of both investment and job creation, and the findings of this study aim at informing and providing the governing bodies of Port Louis with a tangible solution for revamping the centuries-old capital city, as well as demonstrating to the world that smart cities can mean sensitive urban regeneration.