New think-tank takes aim at spatial injustices in Cape Town

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New think-tank takes aim at spatial injustices in Cape Town

Farren Collins | 2017-04-06 16:39:38.0

The IS project aims to practically address the spatial planning legacies of apartheid. File photo.

Image by: MIKE HUTCHINGS
/

REUTERS

The slow rate in redress of spatial segregation in Cape Town has led to the formation of a specialised think-tank to tackle the problem.

African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town‚ launched the Integration Syndicate (IS) project this week to practically address the spatial planning legacies of apartheid.

Led by urban development expert‚ Professor Edgar Pieterse‚ and including policymakers and civil society groups‚ IS hoped to generate “practical proposals” that would “radically transform the spacial functioning of the city”.

Over the past year public debate has raged over the sale of publicly owned land and the humanitarian impacts of gentrification in the city centre‚ while many inhabitants were spatially excluded from economic and other opportunities.

“In the context of the debate last year around qualitative public land like the Tafelberg site in Sea Point‚ and the gentrification suburb in Woodstock‚ it became clear there was a need for a much deeper understanding around the drivers of spacial dynamics in the city‚” said Pieterse.

He added that social cohesion was undermined by the “persistence of geographic apartheid”.

According to the 2011 census by Stats SA‚ nearly four million people lived in the City of Cape Town – over 80% of whom were black and coloured‚ and most of whom lived in townships.

While 56% of people in Cape Town lived in houses‚ the metro’s rate for the number of shack dwellers was 1.5 times the national average at 20.5%.

– TMG Digital/The Times



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