The effects of densification on urban resilience in Parktown West.

Phewa, Nombuso
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand.
African cities are continuously undergoing changes through densification and urban regeneration projects. Although mostly anticipated, these changes often have to be responded to with tools and strategies on maintaining the general character of the areas as the heritage and history then become affected. In this regard, it is crucial to observe the various ways through which densification affects the resilience of certain suburbs. This will aid in developing resilience thinking methods to aid in the maintenance and protection of the character of cities. In many countries around the world, governments are seeking to increase urban densities (Tighe, 2010). Residential densification is often the main focus in the densification policies of South African cities as a result of the apartheid legacy of sprawling, fragmented and racially segregated cities (Turok, 2011). The aim of this research is therefore to shed some light on the impact that densification in general has on urban resilience. The suburb of Parktown West has been selected as a case study. This research utilises qualitative research methods to establish ways through which densification has and is affecting Parktown West’s general urban resilience. The research findings suggest that the Parktown Residents’ Association, the Heritage Council, planning policy as well as the Parktown – Westcliff ridges are the key reasons behind the resilience of Parktown West’s urban environment. The study is therefore valuable in that it provides a perspective different to that of residential densification and its effects on urban resilience. The study recognises limits to the applicability as well as limits to the replicability of the study. Applicable limits are the factors identified as having contributed to the resilience of Parktown West and could still be applicable to a different context. Furthermore, the replicability of this research means that it can be conducted at a context different to Parktown West. Finally, the study recommends that South African cities need to adopt resilience thinking in order to anticipate changes to urban form that result from densification.
A dissertation submitted to the School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand, in fulfilment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Science with Honours in Urban and Regional Planning.
Urban regeneration , Residential densification , Urban resilience--SouthAfrica--Johannesburg--Parktown West , City character maintenance and protection.
Phewa, N., 2017. The effects of densification on urban resilience in Parktown West. Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand.