Whither the urban land question? Blockages, Opportunities and Advantages to Centring Urban Land Issues in the Search for 'The Right to the City'

Tristan Gorgens
2010

Paper presented at a conference entitled 'Planning Africa 2010 - Beyond Crisis: Opportunities & Actions', 13-15 September 2010, International Convention Centre, Durban, South Africa.

This paper argues that due to the nature of the evolution of planning and the planning system in the post-apartheid state, when combined with the political imperative for delivery, has resulted in the fracturing and masking of questions about the distribution and use of urban space and land.  It suggests that the current dominance of the Department of Human Settlements of this policy terrain has foreseeable shortcomings.  Instead, it argues that a consolidated urban land agenda provides a compelling policy 'lens' through which to make connections between efforts to enable a right to the city for the urban poor, focusing particularly on its ability to link spatial strategic planning to a responsive land management system, and an appropriate response to growing informality in South African cities.

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