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Masters Degrees (Town and Regional Planning)

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    Evaluating the impact of the Ingonyama trust board controlled land in the delivery of low-income housing.a case study of Turton in Umzumbe Municipality.
    (2016) Msomi, Xolani Selwyn.; Myeni, Wonderboy Vincent.
    This study evaluates the impact of the iNgonyama Trust Board (ITB) controlled land in the delivery of low-income housing, using uMzumbe Municipality- Turton area as a case study. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of the ITB in the distribution of customary land administered by traditional leaders for the development of low-income housing in rural communities. Thus the study examined the history of South African rural communities under both the colonial and apartheid regime with traditional leaders as representatives of rural communities through management and rural development. The study also assessed the level of success and failure of the ITB and its traditional leaders in cooperation with the rural housing policy in delivering low-income housing in rural communities. It further evaluated the negative factors that delay the fast release of traditional land for housing development in rural areas, explored the South African laws, legislation and policies that govern ITB controlled land and local government involvement in land distribution and housing delivery. Moreover, the study assessed the degree of autonomy between municipal officials and traditional leaders regarding the implementation of low-income housing and land acquisition. Two case studies within the African continent were selected for this study to provide a broader understanding of the debates around the study both at international and local perspective, namely Ghana and South Africa. Qualitative research method was used to collect data from the identified informants using the purposive sampling method. Data collection incorporated both primary and secondary sources, using closed and open-ended questionnaires to acquire the data from the informants. A total of 50 households who benefited from the rural housing subsidy were targeted, as well as municipal officials, the ITB and the Turton traditional leader. The data collected from the informants was analysed using thematic method of data analysis. The study findings identified key challenges encountered during the delivery of Turton low-income housing project, these challenges included: the reluctance of the Turton traditional leader in releasing land for low-income housing delivery due to low capital gains, as well as issues around social and traditional norms which hinder at local level. These issues prevail between the traditional leader and community members in terms of traditional cases and levies paid to the traditional leader for the comfort of the royal family. Communication channels in Turton between the ward councillor and the headmen seem to be unclear when it comes to transparency and management, therefore compromising the achievement of good governance. Traditional structures see themselves as appropriate leaders for rural development with adequate knowledge and understanding of rural areas compared to municipal officials and politicians. However it appears that uMzumbe Municipality officials’ are willing to work with traditional leaders as custodians and political figures of rural development who have the power to allocate land to people within a democratic society. Their willingness brings rise to the realisation of the traditionalist theory which focuses on traditional planning and customs in merger with the modernist theory. The modernist theory refers to ways and forms of modern society, transforming cultural identities through democracy and technical scientific advantages. These two conflicting theories (modernist and traditionalist) are reviewed under this study. Recommendations for the study were based from the identified findings and aligned with the research objectives to help alleviate the key issues identified and improve land accessibility for effective low-income housing delivery. The study has recommended for the introduction of a single legislation for traditional structures on land management. The legislation is to be written in both English and indigenous languages with clearly defined roles and functions of traditional structures as this will help reduce confusion on the roles and functions of each individual. Free land allocation for poor households requiring State housing is also recommended in order to create equal opportunities for qualifying households for a rural housing subsidy. People centred housing development and housing consumer education for low-income households is also recommended in order to respond to the rife of poverty identified under empirical studies in rural areas, more especially in Turton. However the study concluded that the impact of the ITB in the delivery of low-income housing has been positive with regards to the release of Land Development Agreements after consultation with affected traditional leaders for land accessibility.
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    Rebranding Umhlanga as an intelligent city.
    (2017) Erwee, Chelsea Tyler.; Chipungu, Lovemore.
    The notion of the ‘intelligent city’ has gained popularity over the last two decades in the urban realm. It is an urban movement towards creating cities which are more adaptable to the fast-paced changes and associated challenges of 21st century cities, with much emphasis on technology. Thus, this study emphasises the importance of researching the case study of Umhlanga as an Intelligent City within a localised context of a developing country, due to the varying adjustment capabilities of ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries to respond to 21st century city challenges, effectively. The aim of this study was to establish the extent to which Umhlanga embodies the principles of the intelligent city, in response to the traditional city challenges of the 21st century. The main theories which were explored for the purpose of this study included: New Urbanism, an urban design notion which is sustainability-centred, promoting mixed-use activities within a compact-city design; Nodal Development, a spatial restructuring tool which aims to purposefully encourage development in earmarked areas as outlined in municipal integrated development plans (IDP) in a bid to minimise the developmental gap between areas of high development and areas with development disadvantages; Neoliberalism, a governmental policy which gives the market the upper-hand in determining supply and demand, by the government playing a facilitative role whilst the private sector invests directly into developments, thereby creating the necessary and highly dependent-on public-private partnerships (PPPs) for the success of the intelligent city, and; the Non-Place Urban Realm looks at the Umhlanga Ridge Town Centre’s ability to offer itself twofold – as a physical meeting place well-equipped for face-to-face encounters, as well as its presence as a non-physical realm through the necessary infrastructures which allow for cross-boundary transactions which occur via cyberspace and ICTs. A mixed-method research approach was adopted throughout this research paper. Secondary data sources which were explored included journal articles, books, municipal documents such as eThekwini’s IDPs and the URTC design framework; whilst the primary sources included a snowball approach to key-informant interviews, questionnaires, GIS mapping and general observations. The main findings of this paper render the Umhlanga Ridge New Town Centre as an intelligent city within a localised context, based on the New Urbanism and Non- Place Urban realm theories, aligned with Hollands’ three framing principles of the intelligent city: Infrastructure-based Services; Social Inclusion, Learning and Development, and; Business-led Urban Development. The recommendations for this research includes a new technology which has not yet been adopted in the URNTC, but has been implemented in parts of Durban’s CBD, referred to as Light Pole Installations (LPI). These LPIs will ultimately provide ultra-fast cellular communication, ultra-fast Wi-Fi to local traffic environments, and give Wi-Fi connectivity to the public environment. Moreover, it is proposed that stricter parking measures be adopted within the Town Centre so as discourage the use of the automobile between such short distances and optimise the benefit of the New Urbanism design which does put much of its emphasis on walkability within the precinct, as sustainability is a major drive of the intelligent city.
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    Land invasion in greater Edendale, proposed urban hub precinct: scope and impacts imposed to town planning processes.
    (2017) Mthiyane, Thandeka Ntombenhle.; Ntlhe, Daphne.
    This dissertation intends to investigate the impacts imposed by land invasion on town planning processes. This was done with special reference to an area earmarked for the establishment of the Greater Edendale Urban Hub (GEUH), an informally developed area located 10km from the Pietermaritzburg City. Data collection was done through interviews and focus group discussions with purposively selected samples inclusive of local leadership and government officials involved in land management, spatial and environmental planning within the Greater Edendale area. Findings insinuate that land invasion cannot be regarded a sustainable method of land distribution because it has far-reaching negative impacts not only to planning processes but also to the social wellbeing of residents and to the environment. However, the perennial existence of the problem and its underpinnings within the Greater Edendale area exposes firstly the imperfections and failures of the existing land protection mechanisms, urban land and housing markets to distribute land sufficiently to the poor. Secondly, it also becomes clear that transformation to reverse the skewed patterns of land ownership inherited from apartheid has been slow. These two factors cultivate an environment that encourages a culture of accessing and using urban land through methods that are inconsiderate of standards set by Town Planning mechanisms. This dissertation argues, the current patterns of land distribution are untenable and unsustainable, and while the treatment of symptoms can bring relief from time to time it is clear that South Africa needs to decisively rectify these challenges through finding a long-term solution. Continued neglect in this regard may have further far-reaching impacts to planning that have the potential to render the planning processes futile. Finally, the establishment of the GEUH is a necessary development that has great potential of transforming the socio-economic scenarios of the residents. Therefore, the issues of relocation for households situated within the land earmarked for the GEUH becomes inevitable while the settlements unaffected should be considered for community-led land regularisation. These two planning processes can bear a significant impact on the lives of Greater Edendale residents if they employ socially just, decolonised and community-driven methods.
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    The impact of high-income land markets on the low income groups. a case study of Beacon Bay, East London, South Africa.
    (2016) Ntshiqa, Ongezwa Gladness.; Chipungu, Lovemore.
    Following the democracy of South Africa in 1994, was an influx of blacks migrating from rural to urban areas in search of economic opportunities. One of the spatial challenges resulting from this movement was that the development of housing and infrastructure in cities was not as fast as the movement of blacks to cities, which led to inadequate housing and infrastructure. Since 1994, the government of South Africa has drafted policies in anticipation of achieving a re-formed economic, social, and political just country. However, income disparities and displace-ment of the landless poor in cities continues in South Africa. Imperative land use and town planning principles are essential in reforming cities. In the absence of resilient land use plans in municipalities and policy implementation, private landholders influence land uses. Private urban land markets influence land use planning, land distribution and housing allocation due to the adoption of macro-economic policies. Land and housing markets in East London are driven by three economic theories such as neo-liberalism, modernisation and Marxist theory. Neo-liberalism increased the levels of privatization in social service delivery and other services in South Africa. Modernization was adopted to bring transformation in the traditional society of South Africa, this theory reduced government from being central in service delivery by intro-ducing privatization. Lastly, the Marxist approach was used to elucidate the power struggles between owners of land and the poor. In South Africa, the economic disparities have led to socio- economic divisions creating dependency chains between the owners and workers. This research used both qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate the impact of high-in-come urban land markets in the planning system concerning land access for low-income groups in East London. Qualitative methods that were used made use of semi-structured interviews, structured interviews and field observations. The Quantitative methods that were used made use of existing IDPs, SDFs, zoning concepts and maps. The main findings of this research were lack of institutional capacity to acquire land in East London, poor integration strategies, sepa-rate planning and invasion of environmental sensitive areas by the poor in informal settlements. The recommendations guided by the research findings are that settlement forward planning requirements must be followed in housing developments. Policy implementation in the view of Breaking New Ground (BNG) and In-situ Upgrading of Informal Settlements should be ex-tended to benefit more poor inhabitants in informal settlements.
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    Using spatial design as a tool for crime prevention in low income communities: a case study of Cato Manor in Durban, South Africa.
    (2016) Sacolo, Thabiso.; Chipungu, Lovemore.
    The aim of the study was to explore the possibility of using spatial design concepts to address crime in low income communities. A case study of Cato Manor in EThekwini (Greater Durban) was selected as it was a perfect reflection of the crime problem faced by low income communities. A case study approach was used to better understand why low income areas are associated with high crime rates and then use the first-hand information of the community members to try formulate a spatial design concept that can be efficient and affordable in controlling crime in the area and similar communities. The study was mainly guided by the Defensible Space theory and principles of the Smart Growth concept. There were three major data collection methods that were used which were structured questions, drawings and focus group discussions for an in-depth understanding of the problem. Moreover, the researcher also did straight observation to try to see the interaction of the people and the nature of the environment. Together the researcher and the participants analysed the problem then triangulated a plan that can potentially address this problem. Ultimately a spatial design that was seen to be potentially most efficient was drawn and refined. The captured data was analysed and interpreted thematically across the data sets approach, addressing all the research questions. The findings were that design is not effective if there is no human effort towards trying to maintain and protect their spaces, however some members felt that participating in the community would expose them to criminals and they will be targeted by the offenders for trying to fight crime. Therefore, this left room for further research on how to encourage participation and nurture a sense of community in a crime sensitive community. The study recommendations would be that all stakeholders get involved in the development and maintenance of the area which means the community must be involved in all stages of development so they can develop a sense of ownership. Secondly the government needs to play an active role in facilitating and funding the project towards maximising the opportunities of the community. Lastly the community needs to take an initiative to form community forums that will deal with monitoring and controlling crime in the area.
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    Evaluating the viability of using methane gas produced within landfill processes to generate electricity: a case study of Mariannhill landfill site, eThekwini Municipality, South Africa.
    (2018) Zulu, Sandile.; Magidimisha, Hangwelani Hope.
    With South Africa facing the urgent crisis of a shortage of energy; the drawbacks are deeply felt by the population who continuously face increasing electricity prices. In addition, Eskom is the hegemonic energy supplier of electricity in the Republic, mainly through the combustion of coal. A process that is not environmentally sustainable, and resembles an outdated method of generating energy. Thus, this calls for a change in basic assumptions within the production of energy. Moreover, alternative energy sources ought to be developed to diversify the energy sector. Considering this, the following thesis seeks to explore and validate the use of methane gas extraction to produce electricity from a renewable energy source perspective. The focus of this research is to evaluate the viability of using methane gas extraction within landfill sites to generate energy. This was achieved through the assessment of the Mariannhill Landfill Site, which has been generating electricity from capturing methane gas since 2006 (making this the ideal time to undertake such a study as the gas-to-electricity project at the Mariannhill Landfill Site has been operating for just over 10 years). The findings show that 90% of people feel that there are tangible benefits from the use of alternative energy (making specific reference to gas-to-electricity projects). In as much as it can be agreed on that alternative energy sources yield concrete benefits; the findings reveal that alternative energy sources within South Africa produce very little benefits. This is largely due to the bias governing policy (the Renewable Feed-in tariff, REFIT) that deals with the electrification of alternative energy sources. Alternative energy sources (making specific reference to methane gas capture) produce substantial amounts of energy, but cannot plug the energy back into the electricity grids (both the national and local grid) as the tedious policy forms a challenging barrier. This calls for an immediate address of this piece of legislation to realise the maximum benefits of alternative energy (especially methane gas capture).
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    Evaluating the impact of public open spaces on the prevalence of lifestyle diseases among the youth living in the Central Business District of eThekwini.
    (2023) Nzuza, Nkululeko Pedro.; Duma, David Makhosonke.
    The advent of industrial revolution created economic opportunities in urban centres. People flocked to the cities in search of economic opportunities to improve their lives. Urbanisation escalated social problems such as overcrowding, poor sanitation, diseases, and pollution in urban centres. With the chaos that followed industrial revolution, city authorities developed comprehensive master plans as instruments to manage social problems and mitigate against the adverse effects of urbanization (Batty & Marshal, 2009). Comprehensive master plans became a planning instrument with which to physically structure city development and to influence how people lived in and interacted with the environment in industrial cities. By adopting master plans, lawmakers assumed that they would solve the many social and physical problems that plagued industrial cities following the industrial revolution (Batchelor, 1969). Elements of comprehensive planning included zoning controls, which proposed the separation of incompatible land uses for the public good. For example, allocating space for residential, recreational, commercial and industrial land uses. It was hoped that, by spatially ordering land uses the negative impacts of overcrowding, pollution and noise levels on city dwellers would be minimised. That, interventions such as zoning controls, would improve the quality of life for urban dwellers (Kostof, 1991; California Law Review, 1921). Zoning enabled affluent urban residents who could commute by car between their homes and the city centre, to live in suburbs. The suburbs were designed with better planned public amenities such as community parks and playgrounds, which played a significant role in promoting a healthy lifestyle in the neighbourhood. Low-income earners and other minority communities resided in the bustling central business district (CBD), which in many instances was afflicted by crime, grime, noise and overcrowding (Thompson,2007). Like the suburbs that enjoyed better amenities, the CBD required similar amenities to make it appealing to city dwellers. The provision and maintenance of social amenities such as squares, parks, gardens, and playgrounds would enable city residents to enjoy a better quality of life. Public open spaces play a positive role in nurturing a healthy lifestyle of a community; they create spaces for social and physical interaction. Places where people live have an impact on human health and well-being. Health-related lifestyles of individuals were likely to be affected by their environment. The living conditions in the urban environment are important to the health and well-being of its people (Lestan, Erzan & Golobic, 2014; World Health Organization, 2013). A passive lifestyle and sedentary behaviour were associated with the prevalence of risk factors such as smoking, excessive alcohol drinking, physical inactivity and unhealthy diets that cause lifestyle diseases among young people living in urban areas (Oosthuizen, Jinabhai, Terblanche & Beck, 2008). The study sought to indicate that public open spaces , as a town planning intervention, can be a catalyst to address the incidence and prevalence of lifestyle diseases among the youth living in eThekwini. The study drew on linkages between the prevalence of lifestyle diseases and the built environment to highlight the spatial dimension as a critical intervention to address health concerns. Also, to highlight the fact that the configuration of space can yield positive or negative outcomes on the incidence and prevalence of lifestyle diseases among the youth. It further sought to highlight that policy interventions on the provision, accessibility and management of public open spaces would encourage their use to reduce the prevalence of lifestyle diseases. The study found that social barriers such crime from homeless people “amaparah”, inaccessibility and distance of public open spaces from places of residence negatively affected the use of the public open spaces by the youth. It further found that behavioural factors such as access to technological devices (television and smartphones) encouraged young people living in the urban core to engage in sedentary lifestyles and deprived themselves of the health benefits associated with being physically active outdoors. The main research question was to evaluate whether policy makers made adequate provision for public open spaces when developing urban regeneration plans. This study hypothesised that configuring the built environment would have positive health outcomes on the health and wellbeing of the youth demographics (age and gender) in the central business district (CBD) of eThekwini.
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    "Investigating the impacts of spatial and land use planning on eco- tourism development in local communities: the case for the Shongweni dam precinct, eThekwini Municipality in Kwa-Zulu Natal Province, South Africa. "
    (2022) Khumalo, Malusi Ntsikelelo.; Mchunu, Koyi Humphrey
    This master’s dissertation attempts to investigate the impacts of spatial and land use planning on eco-tourism development in local communities, using the case study of the Shongweni Dam Precinct. The dissertation presupposes that the use of spatial and land use planning within the context of ecotourism is unsustainable. To test this hypothesis, a range of research methods were used which included primary sources as well as secondary sources. The theoretical framework unpacked strategic and communicative planning, whilst the conceptual framework expanded on the ideas of sustainability, development and tourism, spatial planning, and land use planning. The outcomes revealed that the overarching concept of sustainability emanated as an outcome of the global concerns that dealt with the unsustainable consumption patterns (for example mass tourism) which had negative impacts on the natural environment. The Dissertation progressed to include a literature review that suggested that eco-tourism is a complex and somewhat contentious concept, with a range of obstacles and challenges specific to participatory issues, unsustainable practices (environmental degradation), and diverging views from developers to policy makers. The next chapter investigated the case of Shongweni, with the research findings suggesting that many participants had no prior knowledge of the eThekwini Municipality’s (EMM’s) spatial intentions toward eco-tourism development for their area. This again reinforced unsustainable practices and the lack of communicative planning. The conclusion suggested that whilst the EMM’s attempted to follow the regulatory framework, in terms of the provisions of Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA) No 16 of 2013, it fell short in understanding, advising, and allowing for participation and engagement with the community. Decisions made by policymakers are sometimes unreflective of the reality of the situation, and it, therefore, suggests that attention needs to be made to ensuring that local communities form part of the planning process. Planning should be regarded as a proactive tool, rather than a reactive tool.
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    Examining the concept of gender mainstreaming in urban space to promote inclusive cities: the case of Warwick market, Durban, South Africa.
    (2021) Rampaul, Kiara.; Magidimisha, Hangwelani Hope.
    Urban spaces are vital in community life because they allow individuals to build social relationships, participate in activities, and access green places. The ability to occupy an urban or public area can have a favourable influence on one's social, emotional, and physical health. In this day and age, there is a clear disparity in who may safely enter and use these locations. The term "inclusive city" speaks for itself: it is a city built for everyone, one that values all of its citizens and their needs equally, and so must address gender disparity. Gender Inclusive Cities are planned and designed using gender mainstreaming, which includes all women in decision-making processes and aims to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Currently, both men and women use metropolitan places; nonetheless, the urban environment can still be considered as a mostly masculine sphere, in which women may feel more awkward, unwanted, or excluded than men. The exclusion of women and girls from the urban planning process generates a knowledge gap, resulting in public spaces that exclude them. Women are being let down by city planning. This research will follow a case study design to explore the concept of gender mainstreaming in city planning of urban spaces.
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    The transformative role of the planning profession in adaptation to and mitigation against climate change: the case study of Umlazi township.
    (2021) Khanyile, Londeka Amanda.; Duma, David Makhosonke.
    In a 4th industrial revolution world, cities are recognized as essential places for tackling the prominent environmental issue of climate change, both by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adjusting to the adverse impacts of climate change. In its accelerating form more especially in developing countries, it is best to address both the causes and the impacts climate change has holistically. Besides, allowing both these strategies to take place enables other professions to contribute towards achieving the common goal of reducing or rather eradicate climate change. The main purpose of this research study is to investigate the transformative role that the town planning fraternity plays in adaptation to and mitigation against climate change using Umlazi Section H, eThekwini Municipality, as a case study. The research method used for this study was qualitative approach. The method was used in conjunction with in-depth interviews, focus groups and observation to gather data. The study revealed that the planning profession plays a vital role in conjunction with other departments/branches such as the environmental planning and climate protection and the department of transport in achieving climate change adaptation and mitigation. The study found that this is achieved through monitoring and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from both private cars and public transport, advocating for green building designs, and transitioning from coal-based energy to renewable energy, and managing land use. To build on this success, the researcher recommends that the collaborative teamwork between the involved departments continues and for each department to play its role to ensure effectiveness and efficiency of these strategies.
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    Spatial planning and densification: the case of Glenwood, eThekwini Municipality, South Africa.
    (2021) Mnguni, Solomzi Alexander.; Magidimisha, Hangelwani Hope.
    The study examined the concepts of spatial planning, in the form of land use zoning and densification, with the purpose of establishing possible solutions to the post-apartheid urban residential land use in practice. According to Twinam (2018) and Calder (2017), zoning is the subdivision of urban land for different use purposes, accompanied by specified lots and building regulations. The zoning regulations include permissible lot sizes, the floor area ratio (FAR), building height, lot coverage, and boundary set-backs. The lot size is indirectly proportional to the degree of densification, whilst other specified zoning elements are directly proportional to the degree of densification. This study investigated the extent to which spatial planning encouraged densification and land use change in the suburb of Glenwood in the Ethekwini Municipality, South Africa. The use of a mixed methodology and triangulation provided pragmatic solutions to the spatial planning matters investigated in this study. Effectively, the study answered the question of how spatial planning encouraged/discouraged densification in the suburb of Glenwood. The examination of the South African spatial development legislative framework for the Ethekwini Municipality and the studying of the interface between the broader Ethekwini spatial planning objectives with Glenwood's lot zoning brought to the fore possible zoning alternatives for densification in the Glenwood area. The national South African legislative policies that guide densification objectives in the Ethekwini spatial planning policy framework are mainly the Constitution (Sections 24, 25, 26 and 154 ), the Municipal Systems Act (Sections 23 and 25), the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA) (Sections 7, 21, 25 and 28), and the Housing Act (Section 2). The policy objectives of these provisions directly and indirectly demand the densification in the inner suburbs of South African cities by virtue of the inner city suburban areas' proximity to areas of socio-economic vitality. For example, the Constitution prohibits any law that allows arbitrary deprivation of property in ways that prevent the redress of past racial immovable property discrimination. SPLUMA compels the scheme to promote economic growth, social inclusion, efficient land development, and minimal impact on public health and the environment. The Housing Act also directs higher housing development density to effect economical use of the land and services. The prescriptions cited are features of densification. Ethekwini's Spatial Development Framework (SDF) policies are conceived within this national legislative environment. Amongst the Ethekwini SDF policies are the Ethekwini Densification Plan, the Berea Urban Core Extension Plan (BUCEP) and the resultant Ethekwini Land Use Scheme for the Glenwood area. The Densification Plan leaves unclassified densification levels in some of the strategically located residential areas like Glenwood. The Berea Urban Core Extension Plan is a Local Area Plan (LAP) with the intention to retain the apartheid configured spatial arrangement in the Glenwood area, and the land use scheme for Glenwood demonstrates discouragement of densification outside the 400m buffer zone of a single provincial road, in this instance the R102. The limited attempts at densification in the Glenwood area demonstrate a contradiction between the national level spatial development policy prescriptions and the local level practical objectives. The findings from key informants' data and survey data also demonstrate relatively sparse spatial development in the Glenwood suburb. The Ethekwini Municipality's density gradient for Glenwood also contradicts the international trend observed from the Accra and Rome case studies. This study recommends a study of the Berea Urban Core Extension Plan, with the specified intent to density the Glenwood and surrounding areas, with pro-active zoning results that promote pro-poor densifying of the residential developments in the area.
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    The role of non-motorised transport (NMT) in spatial integration: the case study of Lamontville in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2019) Sibiya, Siphindile Phumla.; Mchunu, Koyi Humphrey.
    This research focuses on the role on Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) in spatial integration by using Lamontville as the case study. South African Spatial planning under the apartheid regime has heavily shaped the spatial distribution and controlled accessibility and mobility of the South African residents. This has created a constant need for the people especially in the townships to travel to the places of employment often spending a large percentage of their income and time commuting using motorised transportation. Despite walking identified as the most common and widely used means of transportation for many people in South Africa, it is still marginalised and not receiving the recognition it deserves from the spatial and the transport planning professionals. It is for this reason that this study investigates the role of NMT in spatial integration. This study adopted the qualitative methodology from a case study approach to achieve its goals. Primary and secondary data has been used by the researcher to ascertain the opinions and the perception of the various respondents. In - depth interviews has been the qualitative tool used to collect data from Key informants and the local residents. The findings for this study reveal that NMT users in Lamontville are currently subjected to various challenges such safety, lighting, poor development and poor maintenance of the limited existing formal NMT routes. There are numerous informal NMT routes that have developed over the recent years due to population growth in Lamontville. These informal routes are disregarded by the transport planning officials, yet they are widely used and often are the only form of accessibility available to the residents. This study therefore advocates for an urgent need for the development and the implementation of the NMT plan for Lamontville residents in order to promote spatial integration.
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    The role of public participation in city branding processes as a tool for urban regeneration in a South African city: a case study of the city of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2020) Mtetwa, Sindiswa Sympathy.; Magidimisha, Hangelwani Hope.
    Since ancient times cities around the world have been constantly transforming themselves to meet the standards of the current regimes. In an increasingly competitive and interconnected global economy, cities are strategically adopting various models and approaches that enable them to differentiate themselves and their products from other cities. This has led to an increase in cities reinventing and renovating themselves through various urban regeneration projects and programmes. one such model is the city branding model, where cities create and develop a city brand that show a positive perception of their city. Much popular in western countries, South African metropolitan cities including the city of Durban have also adopted the concept of city branding in order to compete at a global level. Although the concept of city branding has not received much scholarly attention, there has been an increase in the debates on city branding mainly around the issue of importance of city branding in developing countries. In the forefront of these debates is the issue of public participation in city branding and urban regeneration processes. Zooming specifically to South African cities which have been characterised with issues of inequalities and social exclusion, this study pursued to understand the role of public participation in city branding processes, using the City of Durban as a case study. The city of Durban has been specifically selected because it is spatially fascinating thus making it a unique product of urban regeneration and it is amongst the few metropolitan cities in South Africa to be branded and unlike its competitors the city of Johannesburg and Cape Town, it is not fully developed, which poses the opportunity to explore. Applying a qualitative research approach, this study selected a sample of 37 respondents to firstly capture the knowledge and perception of residents on the Durban city brand. It also seeks to examine the nature and extent of public participation in the branding of South African metropolitan cities by ascertaining the key stakeholders. Lastly, the study aimed to assess whether there is a correlation between city branding and urban regeneration in the city of Durban. The study findings showed that the City of Durban has made commendable progress in rejuvenating the city and developing a sustainable city brand but with a few underlying challenges. Through using various methods including social medium platforms, surveys and formulating policies, the city of Durban continues to find effective ways to engage and promote public participation. This study thus supports consistent collaborative planning in decision-making processes in order to enable communities and authorities to communicate effectively to encourage meaningful public participation.
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    Assessing the impact of low-cost housing in small towns: a comparison approach of the Nkandla and Umzimkhulu Municipalities in South Africa.
    (2020) Zama, Siyabonga Charles.; Magidimisha, Hangwelani Hope.
    Apartheid spatial planning has deprived most people, especially the African majority, of opportunities including decent shelter and formal human settlements. The government has thus recognised housing provision as a fundamental component in changing the lives of poor people, particularly in areas that were neglected during the apartheid government's rule. The Reconstruction Development Programme (RDP) is the commitment of the Democratic Government to deal with housing problems within the country. The study was aimed at conducting an assessment of the impact of low-cost housing in small towns. This was done through a comparison between two small municipalities of Nkandla and Umzimkhulu. The study employed a mixed-method approach to study the research aim and objectives. The approach consisted of qualitative and quantitative datasets. The quantitative data was obtained by means of a questionnaire, while the qualitative data was obtained by conducting key informant interviews. A random sampling approach was used to recruit study participants. This sampling approach was useful in reducing biases in the sampled population and thus increasing the reliability of the study findings. A total of 100 people (n=100) were sampled from the study areas by selecting 50 participants from each community. The two key informants (n= 2) that were interviewed in the study were selected through a purposive sampling method. The quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics and displayed using graphs and tables. The qualitative data was analysed using thematic analysis. The research found that low-cost housing supply has enhanced the research areas' socio-economic status. In both Nkandla and Umzimkhulu, low-cost houses expanded people's access to government services such as health centres, parks and schools, among others. The provision of the houses in the case studies exposed the communities to improved basic services such as sanitation, electricity and water. However, it was also found that a significant number of people were not satisfied with the quality of their houses. The complaints raised included roofs with no ceilings, doors that were difficult to open or close, and broken windows. The researcher recommended that the quality of the low-cost houses be improved. It was also recommended that the government work closely with community members to further improve the socio-economic status of the communities.
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    Evaluating the current use of urban open spaces versus their purpose use: a case study of Albert park and Gugu Dlamini park, eThekwini Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal,South Africa.
    (2019) Mndzebele, Mhlalisi Gavu.; Magidimisha, Hangwelani Hope.
    Urban open spaces play a critical role in cities by means of providing spaces for recreational, health and leisure activities. This thesis highlights that there is unmistakable evidence of economic, social and environmental benefits of urban open spaces in cities. The design and planning are the contrivances that help to provide usable and liveable spaces that encourage users to choose to spend time in them. There are diverse activities that do not signify the intentional use of urban open spaces. This dissertation evaluates the current and purpose use of urban open spaces at Gugu Dlamini Park and Albert Park, Durban, South Africa. The study was investigated through interviews with relevant stakeholders and direct observations. The dissertation reveals an understanding of how urban open spaces are used internationally and then makes a shift on how they are used locally. As a result of poor management and enforcement, it was discovered that urban open spaces are currently dominated by informal activities. This study provides a number of recommendations on how best and effectively urban open spaces can be utilised, which includes incorporating urban open spaces within the municipal’s strategic goals and ensuring they correspond to economic needs.
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    Evaluating the accomplishment of social sustainability as a planning principle: the case of Cornubia housing project.
    (2020) Jordan, Mahlangabeza Kwame.; Mosima, Choene.
    Global urban growth trends place significant pressure on cities to accommodate the increasing urban populace and ensure housing opportunities with sufficient access to basic services and economic opportunities. This challenge is further compounded by the need to reduce unemployment and inequality while minimizing the negative environmental consequences of development. Past experience shows that the social needs of new communities are often overlooked in the drive to deliver housing on a large scale. Housing is prioritised over local facilities and often residents move into settlements with few facilities to support local social life. This dissertation rests on the argument that the conditions faced by the beneficiaries of low income housing projects are as a result of the manner in which these project are delivered. The main aim of the study is to evaluate the applicability of the mass housing project approach in the eThekwini Municipality context, specifically the Cornubia Housing Project and determine its impact and sustainability through the use of social sustainability. The main research question is: to what degree has the Cornubia Housing Project been able to accomplish social sustainability? This study employed the qualitative research approach which revealed that to date, the Cornubia Housing Project has been unsuccessful in delivering a socially sustainable settlement as it lacks the necessary economic opportunities, social infrastructure, amenities and services required to ensure social sustainability. With regards to the provision of housing opportunities for the poor, the study recommends government interventions that ensure the delivery of places of employment, social infrastructure, services and amenities simultaneously as the houses. Literature revealed that in projects where social infrastructure is provided concurrently with the houses, the social sustainability of those settlements and communities is ensured.Housing is a basic componentof the built environment and social development and directly affects the quality of life.
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    Investigating the implications of edge-city development on integrated spatial planning: case study of Umhlanga, (Prestondale) eThekwini Municipality.
    (2021) Mnyadu, Mpumelelo Mpendulo.; Magidimisha, Hangelwani Hope.
    In the global South, the desire for cities to increase their participation in the global economy by cultivating world cities has led to a heightened presence of high-end privatized urban enclaves that have seemingly become key drivers of city development. Conceptualised as edge cities under the Postmodern Urbanisation framework in the Los Angeles school of thought, these urban enclaves showcase how the decentralization of cities and the demand for affluent lifestyle living has dominated city development trajectories in both developed and developing countries. In response to this trend, more cities are embracing urban policy discourses and spatial plans that are orientated around achieving spatial integration with the interest of ensuring equitable access to city resources for all. The planning discourse in South Africa remains committed to transforming the urban morphology of South African cities from one that is plagued with spatial segregation and fragmentation to one that practises urban compaction and integrated urban development. With this background, the main objective of the study was to find out the impact that edge city development has on the transformation agenda that advocates for integrated spatial planning within the South African urban landscape. A qualitative research approach was used to obtain findings using structured key-informant interviews as a primary data collection source, where purposive sampling was used to purposefully select the sample population. The study found that the development of edge cities perpetuates spatial segregation patterns that exist within the South African urban from. Despite legislature and policy commitment to spatial transformation and integrated development processes, edge city development continues to develop along economic and class divisions that are a legacy of apartheid planning. Furthermore, the study found that the implications that edge city development has towards achieving integrated spatial planning includes increased urban sprawl, deepening socio-economic divisions, spatial exclusivity as well as a lack of public facilities that are not privatized.
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    Assessing the roles of traditional leadership in land-use planning and municipal governance in Nquthu Local Municipality.
    (2020) Makhoba, Noluthando Thabile.; Mosima, Choene.
    26 years of rectifying spatial injustices; South Africa still faces the adverse effects resulting from apartheid planning. Nel (2016) asserted that “South African settlements are still spatially fragmented with a high degree of spatial exclusion”. This is mainly reflected to the nature of law our country applies in terms of LUM where dual land use management systems apply. To such extent, there has been a massive debate and conflict surrounding the roles played by traditional leadership in land-use planning processes and in modern-democratic governance in South Africa. The focus of the research was to find out if traditional leaders have any roles in land-use planning or municipal governance within the jurisdiction of Nqutu Local Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal. To guide the study and clarify the study topic, collaborative planning theory and critical theory were utilized. Using a qualitative methodology, in the form of face-to-face and telephonic unstructured interviews and participant observations methods, the study results showed that traditional leaders have been side-lined or not active in land use-planning matters before independence. However, after 1994, their authority and knowledge over land administration put them in a unique position to be involved in decision-making processes over land. To answer the questions that directly touch the roles of traditional leaders in land-use planning and municipal governance, a purposive and snowballing sampling methods were utilized. The study results showed that the majority of the land in Nqutu local municipality is traditionally owned and that traditional leaders still play a central role in land administration but a minimal role in land-use planning and municipal affairs. Furthermore, the results proved that traditional leaders faces challenges of illiteracy, lack of skills and knowledge on spatial planning and land-use management and no legally defined roles by the law governing land-use planning and municipalities (despite consultations) is likely to be the cause of them being side-lined from decision-making processes and given responsibilities in land-use planning and municipal governance. The study concluded that traditional leaders’ involvement in land use planning and municipal governance is limited to cases or is minimal leaving the municipality in control.
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    Examining the compact city approach in urban development: a case study of Umhlanga Ridge New Town center, eThekwini Municipality.
    (2019) Govender, Hivanie.; Mchunu, Koyi Humphrey.
    This study aims to explore the compact city approach adopted in the Umhlanga Ridge New Town Centre to assess and critique the design, assumptions and outcomes of the ‘compact city’ developed and in doing so ascertain whether or not this approach satisfies the compact city ideology in terms of a sustainable form of urban development for the City of Durban, EThekwini Municipality. Umhlanga Ridge New Town Centre represents the compact cities characteristics, which is clearly visible in its design however, the question remains; is it a form of sustainable urban development and one that truly demonstrates the characteristics of a compact city model? Compact cities refer to urban developments that are relatively high in density, mixed-use based on an efficient public transport system with dimensions that encourage walking and cycling (Burton, 2001). The main beliefs of compact cities, emphasise that urban activities should be located closer together to ensure better access to services and facilities via public transport, walking, cycling and more efficient provision of utility and infrastructure (Ofosu-Kwakye, 2009). Therefore, compact cities argue to be sustainable in terms of its prescription to higher densities that can support public transport and reduce the use of energy, ensuring efficient usage that allows for preservation of land, the ability for higher densities, mixed incomes and racial mixing, diversity and cultural development to promote social cohesion (Jenks et. al., 1996 & Williams, 2000).
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    The impact of informal settlements on environmentally sensitive areas: a case study of Cato Crest informal settlement, in Durban.
    (2019) Khumalo, Zolani.; Myeni, Wonderboy Vincent.
    Apartheid policies promoted racial segregation and thus acted as a catalyst to the rising slum settlements in post-democratic South Africa. The encroachment of informal settlements on to the existing natural environment, the shortage of housing and service delivery is prevalent in Cato Crest. The shortages of living abodes and the cramped living conditions have forced residents within the settlement to continuously invade the neighbouring natural environment and animal habitat. This study intends to examine the environmental impacts caused by the informal settlements within the Cato Crest area, ecological challenges experienced by the residents of Cato Crest due to the lack of essential service infrastructure, and provide answers to the reasons for the emergence of informal settlements in the Cato Crest area. The study further analyzes the environmental effects of the lack of essential service infrastructure within Cato Crest area and the effects of urbanization within the study area of Cato Crest. The study area of Cato Crest informal settlements forms part of Cato Manor. Cato Manor is located 5 kilometers off the Durban Central business district. A qualitative research method was adopted and primary and secondary data sources were used to elicit data on the relationship between informal settlements and the encroached environmentally sensitive areas in Cato Crest. Non-probability sampling methods were adopted to execute purposive and judgmental samplings. A sample size of 30 respondents was interviewed during the acquisition of primary data. A thematic analysis was used to analyze qualitative data. The key approaches of this study are delineated in the key frameworks which are namely; the theory and concept of urbanization, the definition and characteristics of informal settlements, the unravelling of the natural environment, the principles and concepts of sustainable development and the relationship created by the encroachment of informal settlements in Cato Crest against the existing natural environmentally sensitive areas. Theoretical concepts such as the Bronfenbrenner’s theory of human ecology and development, the development theory and the theory of New Urbanism are used to define their relationship with the state of Cato Crest informal settlement. These key frameworks and theoretical concepts are explicitly interrogated to extrapolate the influences and attachment they have to relationship of the natural environment and residents of Cato Crest informal settlement. The residents of Cato Crest informal settlements live in a poverty-stricken environment. The natural environment is being heavily encroached and polluted. The lack of essential services such as electricity, running ablution facilities and waste disposal are also a contributing factor to the pollution of the natural environment and environmentally sensitive areas. The study suggests the following recommendations for both the municipality and residents of Cato crest informal settlement. There needs to be a concise community involvement in order for a bottom up approach to be implemented to improve the quality of living at Cato Crest informal settlement. Controlled encroachment onto undevelopable and environmentally sensitive land will ensure that damage to the existing biodiversity is limited. The improvements of the beneficiaries’ socio economic status can be achieved through the structuring of small business enterprises by providing monetary funding, thus reducing unemployment. A change in the dependency mentality of residents into a system of self-reliance will reconstruct social and economic norms within Cato Manor which will engineer a thinking pattern that is both optimistic and positive amongst the community members. The conclusion reached in the study is that the perpetual existence of socio-economic poverty in the African diaspora can be attributed to the highly subtle capitalist affirmation of developmental theories and legislation. Developmental theories favour and protect economic interests more, rather than changing the status quo of societal issues. This is also administered and maintained at the detriment of the natural environment. According to the eThekwini Municipality, the complete eradication of informal settlements has since been halted by the municipality. These results indicate that a deeper conversation on creating a symbiotic relationship between informal settlements and the natural environment is critical.