Informal Settlements And Urban Heritage Landscapes In South Africa

Informal urban settlements and trade zones represent an increasingly pressing issue for urban heritage developers. In light of the recent revisitation of the UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape, this article explores the current challenges faced at the intersection of heritage practice, urban planning, and informal communities. Heritage recommendations operate within the domain of soft law and their implementation relies on the voluntarism of public parties and the private sector. Such heritage recommendations are thus rarely taken up outside of city improvement districts with recognizable property-owning stakeholders, commercial infrastructures for security, maintenance, and investor marketing. In South Africa, the particular circumstances of the post-apartheid landscape render urban planning frameworks prone to reinforcing the marginalization of informal stakeholder engagement, ultimately perpetuating a socio-spatial inequality such programs set out to mitigate. The civic practices of new social movements and historical knowledge that emerges from the context of informal and neglected urban environments illustrate emergent answers to the exclusionary dynamics of urban heritage planning.

Source: Journal of Social Archaeology [sub required]

Photo Credit: Diriye Amey


Publication Type Journal Article
Publisher Journal of Social Archaeology
Year 2014
Author(s) Lindsay M. Weiss
Other Numbers 14: 271-295
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