Planning for transformation


  • Garth Klein


Alexandra Pilot Study, Alexandra Township, built environment, housing


A Case Study of Urban Upgrade and the Effects on Backyard Shack Dwel­lers in Alexandra Township. Planning, within the present social, political and economic transformation in South Africa, may adopt broadly two diverse positions. On the one hand planning may be seen to limit the process of transforming the nature of society and space. On the other hand, planning may be advanced as a disci­pline encouraging emancipation. Pre­sent urban upgrading strategies within a context of the emerging 'new' South Africa have essentially continued to adopt the farmer approach. The ap­proach was one which serves hege­monic interests. In shifting this ap­proach toward a concern for and the promotion of user needs, the planning process adopted needs to be funda­mentally different from the past. Moreover, the nature of the social pro­cesses which have led to the particular physical landscape requires clarifica­tion. A study of the backyard shacks of Alexandra Township, north east of Johannesburg raises some of these concerns, and points to some policies for the future. 


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How to Cite

Klein, G. (1991). Planning for transformation. Town and Regional Planning, 31, 35-46. Retrieved from



Research articles