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  • Township Renewal: Ink Case Study

    This case study has relied to a great extent on first-hand knowledge and materials produced by S’busiso Dlamini and Linda Mbonambi of the Development, Planning, Environment and Management Unit, INK Urban Renewal/ABM Programme, eThekweni Municipality. Other sources of information were various reports compiled by the CGTA (ex DPLG). Download the full paper here.  

  • A Resource guide to housing in South Africa 1994 – 2010: Legislation, Policy, Programmes and Practice

    This resource guide provides an overview of housing legislation and jurisprudence, policy and implementation in South Africa since 1994. The housing terrain in the country is complex, in large part due to the deliberate policy and legislative framework of socio-economic and spatial exclusion and marginalisation created during apartheid, but also due to failures on the part of the post-apartheid state to adequately redress these problems…

  • Urban Fortresses: Gated communities as a reaction to crime

    One of the consequences of the state’s inability to protect the life and property of all its citizens—especially in developing countries—is the formation of private alternatives to crime prevention and control. Gated communities, or enclosed neighbourhoods, are one such popular alternative. This article compares the phenomenon of gated communities in two developing countries: South Africa and Brazil. Both countries are plagued by violent crime and share…

  • Urbanization and development in sub-Saharan Africa

    Data from the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Report and the World Bank’s World Development Report are employed to test the hypothesis of a positive link between urbanization and development in sub-Saharan Africa. Level of urbanization is defined as the percentage of a country’s population in cities with at least 20,000 inhabitants. Development is operationalized in terms of the human development index (HDI). Results from correlation and t-test analyses confirm the hypothesized relationship. Thus, the study shows…

  • The changing spatial economy of cities: An exploratory analysis of Cape Town

    The spatial economy of South African cities is generally believed to be experiencing selective deconcentration, which may exacerbate social inequality because of the physical disconnection between jobs and population. This paper assesses whether the locational pattern of economic activity across Cape Town is following this trajectory, using data from the Regional Service Council levies between 2001 and 2005. One of the main findings is that the city centre and areas close to the centre have maintained their economic dominance, therefore Cape Town remains a monocentric city. Yet the pattern of recent growth is more dispersed…

  • Rising Diabetes Prevalence among Urban-Dwelling Black South Africans

    Diabetes has globally emerged as a major public health challenge of the 21stcentury. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where diabetes was considered rare prior to the 1990s, has also witnessed a rise in the burden. Studies conducted 10–20 years ago found that diabetes prevalence varied across the region. There are, however, limited data as to the extent of the rise. In urban Tanzania rates increased from 0.3% in the 1980s to 4.6% in 1996 according to the 1998 WHO criteria, and in urban Cameroon from 1.5% in the 1990s to 6.6% in 2003.

  • Reshaping Cities, Rebuilding Nations: The Role of National Urban Policies

    The challenges of rapid urbanisation in large parts of Africa are beyond the capacity of local government to manage. The paper explores the arguments for a national urban policy to complement local strategies, reflecting the unique power of the central state and the special circumstances of cities. With appropriate support, urbanisation could become a more positive force for economic and human development. Recent experience in South Africa illustrates some of the difficulties and possibilities for agreeing a systematic approach to planning and managing…

  • An historical perspective on the viability of urban diversity: lessons from socio-spatial identity construction in nineteenth-century Algiers and Cape Town

    Social heterogeneity is fundamental to many conceptions of urbanism. Social contact in diverse cities is valorized by theorists linking pluralism with social justice, democratic functioning and the psychological development of tolerance. Others express caution, noting that conflict and instability are equally possible outcomes of intergroup contact. This paper argues that these ongoing debates can be informed by longer-term, cross-cultural perspectives on urbanism.

  • Street trading in Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality: Realities and challenges

    South Africa’s informal sector is growing in line with the rate of unemployment, as people seek ways to sustain themselves. People resort to this sector because the barriers to entry and the technical expertise needed to run an informal business are minimal. It is a sector of concern to the government as scholars acknowledge the existence of the informal traders, and a fight to integrate them with the formal business stream has ensued. This document reports the findings of a research study on informal/ street traders in…

  • Incrementally Securing Tenure: An Approach for Informal Settlement Upgrading in South Africa

    Informal urban land markets are operating in the parts of our cities in which poorer people live. Although they function well in the short term and provide access to land, their effectiveness is limited, including locking poor people into marginal locations. Urban LandMark advocates opening up more officially recognised channels of land supply as a primary means for improving the pro-poor functioning of urban land markets. Increased tenure security in informal settlements is the first step towards official recognition. Once greater tenure security…

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