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The planning of Cato Manor: lessons for the sustainable reconstruction of South African cities.

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This thesis provides an overview of the history of urbanisation in South Africa) showing how the resultant fragmented) sprawling spatial form serves to degrade the environment as well as aggravate the plight of the poor. It is argued that science has played a significant role in affecting the way in which planning interacts with the environment. Science has allowed for the domination over) and the manipulation of the natural environment. The popularity of positivism has served to entrench a dualism between the natural world and people - resulting in both entities being planned for separately. This control over the ' natural environment is most apparent in cities. In an attempt to alleviate the marginalisation and domination of the natural environment) a number of radical approaches towards the environment have gained popularity internationally) including ecofeminism and ecosocialism. It is argued however) that these radical approaches are inappropriate within a South African context) as they serve to politicise the environment) and are in fact inherently reductionistic and dualistic. This thesis suggests that sustainable development is an appropriate paradigm to bridge this duality) as it addresses the long term needs of people and the natural environment. A sustainable development approach for cities takes its lead from Local Agenda 21) which encourages cities throughout the world to develop strategies to ensure an improved quality of life for all their inhabitants) without depleting the natural resource base upon which city functioning depends. South Africa is currently undergoing a period of dramatic political and social change. Associated with this transition) new ways of reconstructing cities to increase the quality of life of all South Africans) especially the poor and marginalised are envisaged. This would necessarily include increasing the efficiency of the present urban form. The redevelopment of Cato Manor is used as a case study) illustrating its potential to contribute towards a model for sustainable urban development. This is done through a critique of the planning process as it is unfolding presently. The period of transition provides scope for the introduction of a sustainable development model within planning for low income communities in the Cato Manor project. However) the development has been plagued with 1I1 a number of challenges including institutional, legal, financial, environmental, capacity and public awareness. These challenges have thus far hindered the successful introduction of a sustainable development model, as the development does not appear to meet a primary objective of sustainable development - alleviating poverty and increasing the quality of life of all people, without imposing unsustainable demands on the natural environment.


Thesis (M.Sc.)-University of Natal, 1995.


Cato Manor (Durban, South Africa)--Social conditions., Cato Manor (Durban, South Africa)--History., City planning--Cato Manor (Durban, South Africa), Sustainable development--South Africa., Urbanization--Durban., Natural resources--Cato Manor (Durban, South Africa), Theses--Geography.