Research Outputs (Planning)

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 36
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    The persistence and rise of master planning in urban Africa: transnational circuits and local ambitions
    (Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group, 2022-03-27) Harrison, Philip; Croese, Sylvia
    Master plans have long been criticized by critical planners who have argued in favour of more strategic, collaborative and relational forms of spatial planning that can more adequately respond to local needs and realities, especially in the context of the global South. Rather than critiquing master planning, this paper seeks to interrogate its recent rise in urban Africa. Building on a review of international planning trajectories, the paper seeks to challenge dominant narratives in the Western literature around the rise and decline of master planning. Planning experiences from across the African continent illustrate how master planning was a limited practice under colonialism and emerged more strongly in early post-colonial years, while persisting through a quiet period of planning and proliferating in recent times. By exploring the diversity in the influences and approaches to master planning for new and existing cities in Africa over time, the paper positions master planning as the product of a complex array of transnational circuits and multiple local actors and ambitions which intersect across different scales. The study of master planning should therefore be considered as an important entry point into understanding and rethinking the contemporary politics of urban planning, implementation, and development in Africa.
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    The transcalar politics of urban master planning: the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Africa
    (Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group, 2022-09-22) Croese, Sylvia; Miyauchi, Yohei
    This article sheds light on the growing, but understudied role of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in supporting the local production of master plans across the African continent as a tool for guiding long-term investments in urban development. To explore the multiple logics, actors and interests driving the conception, preparation and implementation of these plans, we approach urban master planning as a transcalar process, through which diverse investment, planning and governance arrangements are produced and mobilized in ways that transcend the city scale. We illuminate these dynamics by building on an analysis of the history of Japanese development cooperation and drawing on case studies of JICA master planning in Malawi, Ghana and Tanzania.
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    Spatial inequalities and policies in South Africa: place-based or people-centred?
    (Elsevier Ltd, 2017-04) Todes, Alison; Turok, Ivan
    There is a robust international debate about how best to tackle spatial inequalities within nations and regions. The paper discusses three contrasting approaches: spatial rebalancing, space-neutral and place-based. They vary in the scope and purpose of government policy, from redistributing economic activity, to facilitating aggregate growth, and realising the economic potential of less-developed regions. The paper applies this framework to analyse South Africa’s five decades of experience of spatial policies. The context is one of stark spatial inequalities, uneven institutional capabilities, and mounting political pressure for change. Under apartheid, spatial targeting was highly instrumental and played a role in reproducing social divisions at considerable financial cost. Since the end of apartheid there has been much experimentation with spatial initiatives, but without any overarching vision or policy framework. A cautionary conclusion is that there are risks of extravagant spending in marginal locations when political pressures are strong, public institutions are weak and economic disciplines are lacking. Another is that place-based policies have potential, but require stronger vertical and horizontal policy alignment to stand any chance of tackling entrenched spatial divides. Enhanced local institutions involving private sector and community stakeholders are also essential for spatial policies to respond to the specific challenges and opportunities encountered in each place.
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    Urban Resilience Thinking for Municipalities
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Gauteng City-Region Observatory, 2014) Harrison, Philip; Bobbins, Kerry; Culwick, Christina; Humby, Tracy-Lynn; La Mantia, Costanza; Todes, Alison; Weakley, Dylan
    This document was prepared as a contribution to the Department of Science and Technology’s (DST’s) Grand Challenge on Global Change and as a complement to flagship initiatives such as the South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas project (Archer, et al., 2010). The Global Change Grand Challenge is aimed at “supporting knowledge generation and technological innovation that will enable South Africa, Africa, and the world, to respond to global environmental change, including climate change” (Archer, et al., 2010, p. ii). While the Grand Challenge highlights the importance of science in supporting South Africa’s response to global change, it extends beyond a purely biophysical focus to acknowledge the importance of the social sciences. There is a clear understanding that the most compelling responses to global change will come through the combined efforts of the natural and social sciences. The DST therefore supports a number of research programmes across South Africa that draw on a wide range of scientific and academic fields in responding to specific challenges of global change across rural and urban –South Africa. One of the key thematic areas supported through the Grand Challenge is “urban resilience”. This is not at the expense of work on rural areas, as there are also a number of research programmes targeting rural South Africa, but it is recognition of both the threats posed by poorly managed urban areas and of the opportunities that towns and cities offer for greater resilience and sustainability.
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    Mediation and the Contradictions of Representing the Urban Poor in South Africa: the case of SANCO leaders in Imizamo Yethu in Cape Town, South Africa
    (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014) Piper, Laurence; Benit-Gbaffou, Claire
    The formal system of local governance in South Africa has the ‘ward’ as its lowest and smallest electoral level – a spatial unit consisting of between 5000 and 15000 voters. The ward is equivalent to the ‘constituency’ in much of the rest of the world. Notably, the history of South Africa means that the vast majority of people live in ‘communities’ or neighbourhoods that are far smaller in scale than the ward, and most of these are the site of multiple claims of informal leadership by a variety of local organisations and their leaders. For example, the Cape Town ward, in which our case-study is located, includes at least five different communities, distinguished in racial and class terms. Existing ‘below’ and ‘within’ the formal area of the ward, popular practices of representation are manifested through a variety of community based organisations, more or less formalised, regulated and recognised. Some of these community based organisations are neighbourhood-specific, while some of them are federated into broader, national structures including the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO).
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    Community leadership and the construction of political legitimacy Unpacking Bourdieu’s political capital in post-apartheid Johannesburg
    (2014) Benit-Gbaffou, Claire; Katsaura, Obvious
    In our attempt to unravel the structures, constraints and opportunities under which community leaders operate, we have been inspired, as many before us in different ways , by Bourdieu’s work on political capital, political representation and his analyses of the specificities of the ‘political field’ (Bourdieu, 1991). However, we also feel that his theoretical frames are built on reflections developed at a supra-local scale, in contexts of highly institutionalized or institutionalizing politics (national party apparatuses), and where the politics of informality are not at the center of his observations. We believe our perspectives on the micro-politics of the local in urban societies dominated by informality, and in globalizing and neoliberalizing governance contexts which see the proliferation of governance institutions (private and public, formal and informal, local, national and international) might bring new insights into the understanding of the complex construction of political legitimacies. In particular, we argue that community leaders – being both grounded locally, in close proximity to their constituencies; and in search of institutional recognition (by a party, or a fraction of the state) that might give them less uncertain legitimacy as well as possible access to material resources, need to build their political legitimacies not either from the bottom or from the top, but from both simultaneously. Following Bourdieu’s notion of double dealings (the need for what he calls ’professional politicians’ to fight in the political field as well as in the social field; for their own political positions and as representatives of their mandators), we then elaborate on instances where the relationships between the two legitimation processes (what we call here legitimation from the ‘bottom’ and from the ‘top’) reinforce one another or contradict one another
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    Are Johannesburg peri-central neighbourhoods irremediably ‘fluid’? The local governance of diversity, mobility and competition in Yeoville & Bertrams
    (Wits University Press, 2014) Benit-Gbaffou, Claire
    Johannesburg’s inner city, often emblematized by the infamously known Hillbrow, has often constituted the point of departure for depicting urban chaos, unpredictability, endless mobility, fluidity and undecipherable change – be it in novels and movies (see 2002 Welcome to our Hillbrow, 2010 Zoo City, 2008 Jerusalema), or in academic literature (Morris 1999, Simone 2006). Inner city neighbourhoods, in the CBD but also at its immediate fringe (‘peri-central’ areas) are currently functioning as ports of entry into South African economic capital, for both national and international migrants. They are characterized by a degree of urban decay that have earned these neighborhoods the label of ‘slums’, ‘sinkholes’, in need of ‘urban management’ and re-affirmation of ‘law and order’. Some have also attracted specific attempts at urban regeneration led mostly by the municipality, followed or not by private investment. They are all marked by a level of informality (in housing and in economic activities) which is often a condition for low-income migrants to enter the urban labour and housing markets.
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    (Oxon & New York. Routledge, 2014) Benit-Gbaffou, Claire; Oldfield, Sophie
    In this chapter however, we do not directly use the term ‘right to the city’, as we follow Mayer (2009) in her call against the ‘proliferation of this rights [to the city] discourse’ that runs the risk of weakening its political power (see also Purcell 2002)....Our aim, in articulating urban mobilisation to the notion of ‘rights’ (in the plural) in this chapter, is to understand more narrowly, more practically, and perhaps then theoretically, to what extent these ‘rights’ to the city are (or not) a strategic tool for collective mobilisation in cities of the South to access urban goods, spaces, resources. In this respect, we are more interested in literature that takes the notion of ‘rights’ seriously, in line with Fernandez in Brazil (2007) or Bhan in India (2009) for instance: examining the legal dimension of ‘rights’ and its impacts in securing different forms of access to urban spaces and urban goods. But this approach needs to explicitly take into account how the formality of this definition unfolds in urban politics and collective mobilisation marked by high levels of informality.
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    (CUBES (Centre for Urbanism & Built Environment Studies) and Wits School of Architecture, 2014-11) Bokasa, Patience; Jackson, Ashlyn; Manzini, Siyabonga; Mhlogo, Musa; Mohloboli, Mpho; Nkosi, Malambule; Benit-Gbaffou, Claire (ed)
    It is more than a year after Operation Clean Sweep, where in October 2013 the City of Johannesburg brutally evicted all traders from the streets of inner city Johannesburg. Most of these traders did not belong to street trading organisations, did not have an easy recourse to a language of “rights” as most of them were trading “illegally” in the inner city. Most of them were not organised neither making collective claims, but were used to adopting a politics of invisibility, of every day arrangements and constant mobility. In this context, what is the relevance of street trading organisations: why this research? The response to this question is three-fold. First, street trading organisations seem to be the victim of a double prejudice: a political one, that discards their leadership as opportunistic, their protests as “popcorn”, their organisations as “fly-by-night”, un-representative and irremediably divided. And, to a lesser extent, there is also an academic prejudice against street trading organisations, not considered as forming an authentic “social movement”, or at least seldom included in this field of study (see for instance a number of books devoted to social movements in South Africa - Ballard et al. 2006; Dawson and Sinwell 2012): because of their divisions, their lack of clear -let alone radical- ideological position, and their intrinsic fragility and fluidity. Yet, street trader organisations persist.
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    Local Government, Gender and Integrated Development Planning
    (HSRC Press, 2007) Todes, Alison; Williamson, Amanda; Sithole, Pearl
    The South African Constitution is one of the most progressive in the world. It demonstrates a commitment to promoting equality for men and women, and entrenches women's rights. This commitment is carried through in several government policies, but there are debates about the extent of its implementation. Since 1994, local government has become a more important sphere than before. It is bigger than it once was, and has a larger mandate than before. \it has been described as the 'hands and feet' of the government, and is expected to play a key role in developing its local areas. Like national government, local government must carry through the commitment to women's empowerment and gender equity.
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    State ambitions and peoples’ practices: An exploration of RDP housing in Johannesburg
    (University of Sheffield, 2013) Charlton, Sarah
    This study investigates the programme’s outcomes in Johannesburg through the perspectives of both RDP beneficiaries and state housing practitioners. Findings transcend the denigration of RDP housing as ‘poorly located’, revealing people’s complex interactions with their housing which show its flaws and limitations but also their attachment to it. To minimise the shortcomings of the housing benefit RDP settlements are appropriated, adapted and transformed, households composition may be re-configured and alternative accommodation off-site brought into play. In general the state has limited insight into this intricacy, little institutional appetite to explore it and holds contradictory positions on the outcomes of the programme. Despite the evident resources and power of the state, it is confounded by the complexity of people’s practices. More broadly, the study contributes to housing and planning literature through its focus on the interface between state and beneficiary practices. Peoples’ responses to RDP housing emphasise both the state’s limited capacity in addressing the housing need, but also the catalytic value and potential its intervention triggers. Rather than portraying the state and the subaltern as clashing over conflicting rationalities, it illuminates their overlapping aspirations and mutual shaping of space.
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    The Map of Gauteng: evolution of a city-region in concept and plan
    (Gauteng City Region Observatory (GCRO), 2013-07) Mabin, Alan
    This Occasional Paper is one of two that GCRO has commissioned specifically to deepen our understanding of the past of the GCR. Both focus on aspects of the region’s spatial past, and ought to be read together. This paper by Alan Mabin explores how the idea of a city-region found expression in various statutory planning frameworks over the course of the last century, and how embryonic cityregion concepts influenced spatial decisions and developments. The companion paper by Brian Mubiwa and Harold Annegarn considers the different but related issue of the actual historical spatial evolution of the GCR. It examines key spatial changes that have shaped the region over a century and provides a remarkable picture, based on satellite imagery, of regional spatial growth in the last two decades.
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    City Planners
    (HSRC Press, 2009) Todes, Alison
    City planning is a small profession, with only 3 790 graduates by 2004. Data sources on the profession are limited, and there are only a few, mainly qualitative studies. 'Planning' as it is described in the Planning Professions Act (No.36 of 2002), was designated as a 'scarce skill' in the context of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (Asgisa) and the Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (Jipsa) (Berrisford 2006; Dol 2006b) Lack of Planning capacity was seen as constraining development in two main ways: through slow processing of land development applications, which was seen as holding up development; and through the lack of transformation of South African cities, perpetuating conditions such as long and costly travel to work, with impacts on labour costs. Further, the focus on infrastructure-led development would also require increased planning capacity.
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    Gender in Planning and Urban Development
    (Commonwealth Secretariat, 2009-12) Malaza, Nqobile; Todes, Alison; Williamson, Amanda
    There is increasing evidence that women and men experience cities in different ways. Therefore gender-sensitive urban planning is needed. However, like other built environment occupations, the planning profession has traditionally been ‘gender blind’. The Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) has been a strong advocate for ‘reinventing planning’ (Farmer et al. 2006). CAP argues for ‘planning as an inclusive process ... rooted in concerns for equity’ (CAP 2008). Gender equality is one dimension of this kind of inclusive planning. This position, which was endorsed by the UN-Habitat World Urban Forum in 2006, also reflects the Commonwealth’s strong commitment to gender equality. So why does gender matter in urban planning? And, what might ‘gendered planning practice’ hope to achieve?
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    An Interpretation of Sustainable Development and Urban Sustainability in Low-Cost Housing and Settlements in South Africa
    (University of Cape Town Press, 2003) Irurah, Daniel K; Boshoff, Brian
    The sustainable development paradigm can be viewed as a convergence of two paradigms that initially evolved in an antagonistic manner, possibly as far back as the industrial revolution. The first one is the growth and development paradigm, which was strongly rooted in economic growth based on the economic output of an economy as measured by GDP (gross domestic product). Until the late 1900s, governments and communities had committed themselves to a vision of improved standards of living through increasing the GDP of their respective economies, while paying minimal attention to environmental and resource impacts. Then in the 1950s to 1970s the environmental movement coalesced after almost a century of isolated pronouncements on resource and environmental degradation arising from exponential population growth as well as increasing levels of production and consumption. The movement argued that unless humanity voluntarily controlled population and economic growth, environmental and resource degradation would put a limit on human survival. The strongest substantiation of the argument was presented in the Club of Rome Report, Limits to Growth (Meadows et al., 1972).
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    Carlton Centre Limited. Statistics and General Information Relating to Carlton Centre
    (Johannesburg City Coucil, City Engineer., 1970-09-11) Johannesburg PD/MGS/GSF
    The promotors of Carlton Centre are the Anglo American Corporation of South Africa, Limited and The South African Breweries Limited...The excavation necessary to permit the construction of the below ground levels was one of the largest ever undertaken anywhere in the world for a commercial building project.
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    City of Johannesburg. Brief History of the Development of its system of Government
    (Public Relations Officer, City Hall, P.O.Box 1049, Johannesburg, 1967) Public Relations Office, City Hall, Johannesburg
    On 8th September, 1886, Paul Kruger, president of the Transvaal Republic, signed a proclamation declaring several farms, including Randjieslaagte, on the Witwatersrand ("Ridge of White Waters") public gold diggings. The biggest gold rush in history began to what was until then a piece of bare veld and rocky outcrop.
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    The Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002: part panacea or ready recipe for disaster?
    (SA Public Law, 2003) Boshoff, Brian; Van Wyk, J
    Floods, earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, explosions, runaway fires, and transportation and other accidents are all occurrences with which we are familiar, if only vicariously. These events can presumably all be categorised as ‘disasters’. But can the same be said for the dumping of hazardous waste, ships running aground, farm invasions and large-scale evictions, major traffic accidents and the issue of cross-border or internal refugees? When is an event considered a ‘disaster’, who determines that an event is a ‘disaster’, who can do what to prepare for the ‘disaster‘ and what can be done to alleviate the effects of the disaster after it has happened?
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    Latter-day South African Spatial Planning And Problem Solving
    (ISoCaRP Congress, 2003) Boshoff, Brian
    The SA space economy and the striving for development has come a long way, but still faces great challenges. One of those challenges is to deal with globalisation -- a highly contested influence that has been shown by many authors to have myriad positive and negative effects and impacts. This paper has shown that globalisation has also influenced SA spatial frameworks and policies, in the context of competing, but related demands, as evidenced in GEAR and the RDP. I argue that there is a great danger of being simplistic and blinded by globalisation as a meta narrative and one should closely examine developmental goals and objectives, especially as they occur in a variety of contexts. For example, “just as Jhb’s citizens and managers must grapple with that city’s complexity, and devise creative ways of thinking about its future, and negotiating present dilemmas, so urban theorists need to move beyond globalisation and developmentalism, and embrace the ordinary, but dynamic complexity of urban life” (Robinson 2003: 278).
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    Local Councillors: scapegoats for a dysfunctional participatory democratic system? Lessons from practices of local democracy in Johannesburg.
    (Critical Dialogue: Public Participation in Review., 208) Benit Gbaffou, Claire
    This paper starts with the study of participation patterns in different neighbourhoods in Johannesburg, and demonstrates that institutional channels (be it representative democracy, or various participatory institutions and instruments) are currently not working in Johannesburg. Be it in low income or high-income areas, suburbs or townships, residents have to resort to other means, sidelining in particular their ward councillor, to be heard. We question the reasons for this lack of bottomup dialogue, focusing on the figure of the ward councillor as a supposedly key link between residents and local government, but however not able to play his/her role. We contest the dominant vision that the failure of participatory democracy in South Africa is the consequence of a lack of training, education or democratic culture, and we argue that both the limited power of ward councillors in Council, and the lack of incentive for fostering their accountability in front of voters, make local democracy institutions dysfunctional. More broadly, we question the lack of importance of participatory democracy in the ANC and in the government agenda, despite the political discourses claiming the contrary.