Urban Development Planning for Sustainability: Urbanization and Informal Settlements in a Democratic South Africa

Authors

  • Loretta Muzondi

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of the relationship between urbanization and informal settlements, in order to demonstrate how their amalgamation adversely affects urban development. Empirically, urban development in the developing countries has been facing a variety of challenges. Inherently, the post-1994 era of democratic South Africa has witnessed the emancipation and intensification of contemporary issues within urban development and these include massive urbanization levels and the rise of informal settlements in the cities. The co-existence of the two phenomena impedes adequate urban development. As urbanization takes its course, the resultant is the proliferation of informal settlements. Consequently, encapsulated within the informal settlements, is the upsurge of poverty levels and social-ills such as unemployment, crime, poor service delivery and health hazards such that residents are susceptible to poor conditions of living. Despite all the government’s efforts to address this pestilent socio-economic issue, through development programs and policies that seek to promote equitable urban development. High urbanization levels and informal settlements remain a peril to urban development. It is in this context that this paper argues that unplanned urbanization and uncapped informal settlements are practically hindrances to effective urban development in South Africa. Furthermore, the paper contends that, in this era of promoting sustainable development, there is need for a paradigm shift from a mere generic urban planning and development approach, to a rather more proficient type, which entails planning for urban sustainability. Thus, the paper concludes that failure to curb urbanization levels and the rise of informal settlements in South Africa’s cities is an indication of nominal urban planning and development systems.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n14p641

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Published

2014-07-02

How to Cite

Muzondi, L. (2014). Urban Development Planning for Sustainability: Urbanization and Informal Settlements in a Democratic South Africa. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(14), 641. Retrieved from https://www.richtmann.org/journal/index.php/mjss/article/view/3198

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Articles