The social and spatial manifestation of gated developments in the north-eastern suburbs of Cape Town

Welgemoed, Louis (2009-12)

Thesis (MA (Geography and Environmental Studies))--Stellenbosch University, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Gated developments (GDs) are a global phenomenon with their presence and numbers increasing in many cities throughout the world. This is also true for cities in South Africa, including Cape Town which has seen a dramatic increase in the number of GDs during the last decade. GDs pose significant challenges to their surrounding urban environments and to cities as a whole because of the spatial and social fragmentation associated with such developments. The challenges created by GDs are especially relevant in the context of the post-apartheid planning goals of integration and sustainability of cities in South Africa. There is a pressing need to understand these GDs in their social and spatial contexts. This study examined aerial photographs to establish the spatial distribution of GDs, ascertain their growth over time and determine clustering of the phenomenon in the north-eastern suburbs of Cape Town. The architectural characteristics and the security measures employed by the GDs were investigated through field observations of a sample of GDs. The socio-economic and demographic features, as well as the daily activity spaces of the residents of the GDs, were determined in a questionnaire survey of a sample of these inhabitants. These investigations provided a detailed look at the gating phenomenon as it manifests in a post-apartheid city, namely Cape Town. The study is of particular interest to urban geographers, town and regional planners, and urban policy makers dealing with the integration of post-apartheid cities. The study found that the GDs constrain progress toward reaching the post-apartheid planning goals of integration and urban sustainability by their contribution to increasing urban fragmentation and urban sprawl through their clustering close to the urban edge. The GDs also promote social segregation through their high perimeter defences with low visual permeability which effectively separate the developments from their neighbourhoods. The use of a larger sample on which to base the socioeconomic and demographic profiles of GD residents as well as the use of more recent aerial photography will enhance future studies of the gating phenomenon. A thorough analysis of travel patterns and traffic volumes in neighbourhoods with large clusters of GDs will advance an understanding of this phenomenon’s effects on urban segregation and fragmentation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Sekuriteitsoorde is ʼn globale verskynsel wat toenemend in teenwoordigheid en getalle wêreldwyd in die meeste stede voorkom. Dit is ook die geval in Suid-Afrikaanse stede, insluitend Kaapstad wat in die laaste dekade ʼn dramatiese toename in die getal sekuriteitsoorde beleef het. Sekuriteitsoorde hou ʼn paar gewigtige uitdagings vir die omliggende stedelike omgewings en dié vir die groter stad in as gevolg van die ruimtelike en sosiale fragmentasie wat met hierdie ontwikkelings geassosieer word. Hierdie uitdagings is veral relevant vir die huidige Suid-Afrikaanse beplanningsbeleid wat na 1994 in werking getree het en wat stedelike integrasie en volhoubare stedelike ontwikkeling beklemtoon. Dit is belangrik om sekuriteitsoorde binne hulle sosiale en ruimtelike kontekste te bestudeer. Lugfoto’s is bestudeer om die ruimtelike manifestasie (ligging, groei en konsentrasie) van hierdie verskynsel in Kaapstad se noordelike voorstede te ontleed. Verder is ʼn steekproef van sekuriteitsoorde ter plaatse ondersoek om die argitektoniese kenmerke en die sekuriteit maatreëls van die ontwikkelings te bestudeer. Die sosio-ekonomiese en demografiese profiele sowel as die daaglikse aktiwiteitsruimtes van sekuriteitsoordinwoners is deur middel van ʼn vraelysopname van ʼn steekproef van inwoners vasgestel. Hierdie ondersoeke het ʼn diepgaande blik op geslote ontwikkelings in stede wat gekenmerk is deur apartheidstyl beplanning (soos Kaapstad) gegee. Die bevindings is dus veral relevant vir stedelike geograwe, stads- en streeksbeplanners en stedelike beleidmakers wat met die integrasie van na-apartheidstede te doen het. Die studie het bevind dat hierdie ontwikkelings die bereiking van die na-apartheidsbeplanningsdoelwitte van stedelike integrasie en volhoubare stedelike ontwikkeling belemmer deur stedelike fragmentasie en stedelike wildgroei te bevorder deur konsentrasies van hierdie ontwikkelings naby die stedelike grens te vestig. Sosiale fragmentasie word ook deur hierdie ontwikkelings aangehelp deur hulle neiging om hoë grensmure met lae visuele deursigtigheid te gebruik wat effektief die ontwikkelings van hul buurt afsonder. Die studie kan verbeter word deur ʼn groter steekproef te gebruik om die sosioekonomiese en demografiese profiele op te baseer, asook om jonger lugfoto’s in te span. ʼn Deeglike ondersoek van reispatrone en verkeersvolumes in die woonbuurte met groot konsentrasies geslote ontwikkelings sal ʼn beter begrip van die verskynsel se impakte op stedelike segregasie en fragmentasie bevorder.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/1952
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