Planning for transformation
Keywords: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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