Federal Ministry for Economic
Cooperation & Development
Bonn, 27 May, 2010
Cathy Sutherland, Dianne Scott and
Glen Robbins
South African team
Research questions
Durban and Cape Town
Participatory spatial planning
1. South African Team
• Core Team
• Research Associates
Department of
Environmental and
Geographical Science
University of Cape
2. Research questions
• City futures: How do we conceptualise and frame fast
growing cities in the ‘developing world’ in relation to
sustainability (ecological, social, economic and
governance dimensions)
• Production of space: How is space produced? abstract,
representative spaces and everyday lived space.
• Participation: What negotiation, participation &
deliberation takes place in the production of space?
• Knowledge: What is the process and politics of
knowledge construction?
• Planning: To what extent do planning and environmental
management processes towards more sustainable cities,
include participatory knowledge?
Networks and multiple
WP5 Participatory spatial
economic growth
WP2 Large scale
infrastructure projects
WP6 Fiscal
Social networks, Equity
Identity, sense of place
Resource conservation
WP 4 Policy, politics,
CSO’s and sub-standard
Environmental risk
Water and energy
An urban household in a South African
3. Durban and Cape Town
Two fast growing but very different South
African cities
• Compare cities within South Africa
• Compare SA cities with other cities in the
global South
African city
Service delivery city
Economic growth objectives
Less divided spatially
Political dominance
Rural-urban continuum
Greenfields development (high value zones)
Mix of issues: Growth of demand for water and
energy at lower levels of high end consumption,
increase in water resources (natural provision)
but water supply problems
eThekwini Municipality (Durban)
Cape Town
Global ‘leisure’ city
High income tourism boom
Divided spatially
Politically contested
Brownfields development (high value zones)
High income consumption (minority) exceeds
that of the poor (majority)
• Reduction in water resources (natural provision)
over time
• Protecting the ‘established’ golden goose
City of Cape Town
Source: Pithey,
• Common themes
– Both fast growing:
• Durban: land area grew by 66% post 2000 due to Municipal
Systems Act (2000)
• Cape Town: land area size grew by 40% between 1977 and
2006, city consumes 900 hectares of undeveloped land per
– Tasked with overcoming the spatial divisions and
inequality caused by apartheid and endemic poverty
– Similar population with high numbers of poor
residents (approximately 1.6% annual growth rate)
• Cape Town
– 3.5 million people or 800 000 households
– 50% Cape Town residents classified as poor
• Durban
– 3.5 million people
– 33.1% of Durban residents classified as poor (different
poverty line measures)
– Unemployment levels of 43% (Durban), 15% -21%
(Cape Town)
– Urban sprawl (Durban has greater sprawl than Cape
Town) with low urban density by international
– Highest urban density in poor areas
– Large housing backlogs
– Investments in urban infrastructure (services), energy
and transportation systems have not kept up with
rapid growth
– Unequal cities: gap between the have’s and the
have nots in all aspects of urban life
– Market versus state led development of the city
– Active civil society: heritage of apartheid and part of
post-apartheid transformation
• Increase in civil action as a result of poor delivery of the state
– Separate environment and planning processes and
– Integration of brown and green agenda issues
– Both cities under intense social, economic and
environmental pressure
– Both located in global environmental hotspots or
zones of high biodiversity
– Both impacted by HIV\Aids (Durban has greater
– Both have a separate environmental management
function in local government
– Comparative and co-operative sustainability and
climate change programmes (coastal cities)
– Economic activity: Manufacturing is dominant
in Durban, finance, services and commerce is
dominant in Cape Town
– Unitary cities: Cape Town Unicity and
eThekwini Municipality (Durban)
• To ensure greater equality between rich
and poor areas and to allow for
standardised service delivery
– Unitary budget for both cities with a focus on
the poorest of the poor
– Both impacted by the role of consultants:
South Africa may be termed a consultant state
WP5: Participatory spatial
planning discourses
• EU Research
• Democratic urban governance and planning, i.e.
procedural justice – necessary for sustainable decisionmaking
• Production and sharing of knowledge for urban
development (public & private sector, consultants, civil
• Production of space: abstract representative spaces and
everyday lived worlds
• Existing research
• Spatial planning discourses
• Relationship between society, space, environment,
knowledge production and democracy
Spatial planning of South Durban
Residents call South Durban ‘home’
Wide range of social organisations that link into the broader social
network and reflect everyday lived worlds
Logistics zone for port
Proposed research
Participatory spatial planning
North Coast corridor
Local area planning
‘Competency groups’ (Whatmore, 2009)
Expert and lay knowledge – integration.
Knowledge production
• EU project enables our team to integrate and advance a
wide range of our existing theoretical and empirical work
• EU project enables our team to extend our current work
by considering these issues through
– new theoretical lenses,
– different questions and
– in comparison to other fast growing developing world
• We are very excited about this opportunity and look
forward to working with our team
• eThekwini Municipality
• City of Cape Town
• Sustainability Institute, Stellenbosch