An assessment of urban sustainability in South Africa : the Clairwood precinct plan
Kruger, Donnée Marie
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The study displays an analytical framework of urban sustainability in South Africa and applies the principles to Clainvood, a suburb in the South Durban Basin in KwaZulu Natal. It is important that urban areas are productive, inclusive, sustainable, and well-governed. In addition, the delnographic status and trends are of major concern to urban areas. An important strategic issue facing the South African city is city growth. South African cities have grown much faster than the national population since the t970s, but this has slowed in the 1996 to 2001 period. The growth of the urban population and migration trends pose specific challenges that may impact on the sustainability of the city. The analytical framework for urban sustainability investigates whether residents have the opponuni~iesa id capacities to share equitably in the social benefits of city life, how the city is impacting on the srore of natural resources that sustains the settlement and makes it viable, how the local economy provides a majority of residents with a means to earn a reasonable living and if the political and institutional context is stable, open and dynamic enough to give a sense of security to accommodate a variety of interests. The core features of rhe South African city is inequality. Large numbers of residenrs are separated geographically, materially and psychologically from the opportunities and advantages of city life. The study investigates progress in providing residents with access to key infrastn~cture based service, divides in wealth, ability to build assets and secure against risk; spatial exclusion; human developlnent and qtlelity of life and what is being done to address this in Clairwood. Aparrlieid spatial planning left rhe South African cities with built environments thar were dysfunctional and in rum resource inefficient. Reversing the impacts has unforrunately meant reinforcing and exacerbating these inefficiencies, as an increasing number of residents claim highly resource-intensive livelihoods from which they were previously excluded. The study investigates the urban-environmental challcngc that apartheid built environment planning created; the trends in urban form resulting from post-apartheid settlement policies, nleasurable impacts on natural resoilrces and suggestions for constl-ucting a sustainability agenda in Clairwood. - Aa asscssnrcat of urban snrm~nalrlitym So~rtbA /nm Tbo Clainrroad Precrnct The sustainability challenge facing the local economy in South African cities is negligible public and private sector investment in bases for i.ndustry efficiency otlier than cheap surplus labour. An artificia.11~s mall middle- class and weak domestic demand; and the fact thar the productive capacity of a large section of the population is under-valued and unharnessed, is also a major challenge. The study investigates employmenr and remunerario~l trends arid especially the relati\:c attractiveness of cities in terrns of their ability to provide residents with a means to earn a living. factors illustrating and explaining the strength of the urban economy and how South A.frican cities are responding to urban economy weaknesses in a globalising economy. The transformation in South Africa has left municipalities facing challenges of bad relations between con~munities and municipalities, poor public participation and increasing Icvels of crime. Administrative and Financial challenges also play a role. The study investigates how well South African cities are governed, including evidence of social discord and disintegration and institutional stability assessing the institutional al-rangements within Clairwood.