The theory and practice of community participation in provision of urban structure

The thesis develops a new approach to community participation, for application to infrastructure provision projects in developing cour..rles, based upon social surveys and case studies of negotiations in five South African communities. Existing approaches to community participation are analysed and shown to be unsuitable for infrastructure provision. The thesis compares the characteristics of infrastructure projects with those of other types of development projects and demonstrates how these characteristics can be used to situate a given project within a project environment defined in terms of two variables: the openness of government to community involvement in decision-making, and project complexity. Social .urveys carried out in Soweto and KwaThandeka showed the centrality of infrastructure to social change in South Africa. Existing urban management systems were unable to cope with the stresses placed upon them. Four facets of urban management were identified as being under stress: institutional capacity, legitimacy, affordability, and user convenience. These stresses cha,nge the nature of infrastructure provision from the supply of end products into a complex process. Central to this process are: an increased number of actors influencing C:....cisions, the enhanced role of technical professionals, and the social implications of different levels of service