Managing change in urban transitional areas: Some informants on the nature of regional plans
Keywords:Regional planning, change, settlement formation, Southern African peri-urban development, spatial organisation, spatial planning
Regional planning has had a cheque red career internationally, and not least in South Africa. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that a lack of spatial direction to processes of settlement formation at a larger scale may have disastrous longer term social economic, environmental and cultural affects. The problem is aggravated in South Africa by a serious lack of capacity to develop creative management plans at all scales. This dilemma of capacity has fundamental implications for the nature of plans; in particular, the absolute necessity of embracing a philosophy of minimalism. This article explores an easily accessible conceptual framework for thinking about regional space in relation to a particular problematic form and scale of areas: urban transition areas occurring in and around metropolitan are as and larger towns. Above all else, these areas are characterised by rapid and frequently accelerating change as they are increasingly drawn into the force fields of the larger settlement.
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