Connecting the Dots between Settlement Functionality, Integrated and Incremental Upgrading and the Need for a Capacitated Network of Intermediary Organisations

2012

This paper explores the implications of the 'settlement functionality' argument for processes of informal settlement upgrading. It argues that this approach enables the building of communities of practice between state officials, professionals, civil society organisations and community members in order to understand the opportunities and limitations created by the interaction between the functionality of the settlement within the city system and in the lives of local residents, the physical and technical constraints offered by the site, the levels of organisation within the local community and the skills and resources available for the process. It suggests that this only be successfully pursued by a network of individuals and organisations able to play a range of 'intermediary functions' between the state and communities. Concludes by arguing that the NGO sector is an important partner in building and sustaining such networks and that the current weaknesses in the sector in South Africa require a coherent response from all stakeholders.

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