Smart Growth : a sustainable solution for our cities

Theart, Alwie (2007-03)

Assignment (MPhil)--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The greatest challenge for our time is to ensure the preservation of our environment and the well being of our people. With this in mind and the fact that almost half of the world’s population is living in urban areas, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that cities develop in a sustainable manner. Cities are regarded as one of the most magnificent creations of human achievements, but when looking at urban areas around the world it can also be regarded as one of the most problematic achievements. The growth of cities is a natural process and an unstoppable progression of events. Modern cities have a major impact on the environment and to ensure successful reduction of this impact, certain problem areas will have to be identified and addressed without delay in order to be in a position to make any significant change in the long run. Interventions of some sort are needed to make living in cities as well as on the planet as a whole more sustainable. The big question is however, how this can be achieved? One of the possible new interventions is the Smart Growth Concept, which is a form of growth management. Although Smart Growth has been around from the early 70’s, it is still a new concept that has not been explored to its full potential. The concept is well known in America but in most countries around the world, including South Africa, it is still a vague concept, which needs more introductions, convincing and ultimately, implementation. Although this article will focus on the Smart Growth concept as a possible solution to creating sustainable cities, the critics do not all agree with this point of view. Enough evidence is however provided to prove that Smart Growth can make a difference in our daily lives. The main aim of this article is to provide the reader with enough information on the subject of Smart Growth, and address the criticism against the concept of Smart Growth, to be able to see the positive influence that the Smart Growth concept can have on our cities.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die grootste uitdaging van ons tyd is om te verseker dat die ons omgewing beskerm word en die welstand van ons mense bevorder word. Met dit in gedagte en die feit dat ongeveer die helfte van die aarde se bevolking in stedelike areas woonagtig is, is dit van uiterste belang dat stede op ‘n volhoubare manier ontwikkel word. Stede kan as een van die grootste skeppings van die mensdom beskou word, maar as daar gekyk word na stedelike areas rondom die wêreld kan dit ook as een van die problematiese skeppings beskou word. Die groei van stede is natuurlike proses en is onstuitbare sameloop van gebeurlikhede. Moderne stede het groot inpak op die omgewing en om te verseker dat die impak suksesvol beperk word, is daar sekere probleemareas wat geïdentifiseer moet word en wat sonder enige verder vertraging aangespreek moet word, ten einde in ‘n posisie te wees om enige beduidende verandering op die lang duur te maak. Ingryping op een of ander manier is nodig om stede meer bewoonbaar te maak, asook die planeet as ‘n geheel meer volhoubaar te maak. Die groot vraag is egter, hoe om dit te doen? Een van hierdie moontlike ingrypings is die Innoverende Groei (‘Smart Growth’) Konsep, wat ‘n vorm van groeibestuur is. Alhoewel die Innoverende Groei Konsep al sedert die sewentiger jare bestaan, is dit steeds ‘n nuwe konsep wat nog nie tot sy volle potensiaal ontwikkel is nie. Die konsep van Innoverende Groei is bekend in Amerika maar is in die meeste lande rondom die wêreld, insluitend Suid-Afrika, nog steeds ‘n vae konsep wat nog verder bekendstelling en oortuiging vereis en uiteindelik geïmplementeer moet word. Alhoewel hierdie artikel die fokus plaas op die Konsep van Innoverende Groei as moontlike oplossing in die skepping van volhoubare stede, is daar kritici wat nie saamstem met hierdie sienswyse nie. Genoeg bewyse word egter voorgehou om te bewys dat die Konsep van Innoverende Groei ‘n verskil kan maak in ons daaglikse lewe. Die hoof doel van hierdie artikel is om die leser van genoeg inligting te voorsien rondom die Konsep van Innoverende Groei , en om die kritiek teen die konsep aan te spreek, ten einde die leser te oortuig dat die konsep positiewe invloed op die groei van ons stede kan hê.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/21908
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