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Journal Articles Territory, Politics, Governance Year : 2022

Conflicted translations: an analysis of the bus rapid transit policy adoption process in Cape Town

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Abstract

From the early 2000s onwards, bus rapid transit (BRT) systems have multiplied in the Global South, promoted by an international community of transfer agents. This article examines Cape Town’s BRT implementation experience. Translation, at the intersection of policy mobilities and mainstream transfer approaches, is the main analytical tool used. In the wake of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the South African city hastily imported its BRT policy. International consultants nudged policymakers to design an infrastructure-focused network with high-end features with the aim to absorb paratransit operations. Early into the rollout, the transport mode’s significant inadequacies vis-à-vis its Capetonian environment became obvious, triggering a new cycle of the translation process. Local actors re-interpreted the BRT by shifting its initial goals and reclassifying the BRT from a policy model for sectoral reform to an instrument within a renewed urban development strategy. The launch of a new department within the City of Cape Town, as a response to the BRT’s mishaps, highlighted two opposing and irreconcilable understandings of city-making. This article suggests that conflicts structure and sequence translation processes of transferred policies in a medium-term timeframe.
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Dates and versions

hal-03764233 , version 1 (30-08-2022)

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Fatoumata Diaraye Diallo. Conflicted translations: an analysis of the bus rapid transit policy adoption process in Cape Town. Territory, Politics, Governance, 2022, 19 p. ⟨10.1080/21622671.2022.2099967⟩. ⟨hal-03764233⟩
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