Non-metropolitan gated developments in the Western Cape : patterns, processes and purpose

Spocter, Manfred Aldrin (2013-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Gated developments, also known as gated communities, have become a feature of urban living throughout the world and have been the subject of intensive research. Gated developments in South African cities are a ubiquitous feature of the post-apartheid urban landscape with many new housing developments in the form of secure estates or fortified townhouse complexes. Almost all the international literature on gated developments has focused on them as a metropolitan phenomenon. Very few international studies have investigated gated developments in non-metropolitan locales and this topic is unexplored in the South African context. This dissertation addresses this research gap. The study area is the entire non-metropolitan area of the Western Cape province. The politicoadministrative concept of non-metropolitan is used rather than the descriptor rural because the latter implies an area of primary production with no diversification of productive activities. The study area excludes the metropolitan area of Cape Town but includes the rest of the province within which there are settlements of varying sizes having a diverse range of economic activities. It is in these places that gated developments were investigated to cover and discover particular aspects of the hitherto unexplored non-metropolitan gated developments of South Africa. The specific objectives were to place the research in the theoretical and conceptual debates of gated developments; map the occurrence of the phenomenon; and spatially analyse the location and security aspects of the developments at a macro scale. Two towns, Swellendam and Ceres, were selected as case studies as their gated developments present a host of significant features warranting further micro-scale analysis. The spatial and locational analyses yielded other researchable themes specific to certain types of developments, namely retirement gated developments in Oudtshoorn and Swellendam and gated developments outside the urban edge. A comprehensive spatially-linked database of gated developments in the study area was compiled from numerous sources, culminating in a process of groundtruthing that resulted in the collection of data on the physical features of each development. Qualitative data was collected from respondents through interviews, electronic communications and a questionnaire survey. Distribution patterns of gated developments were determined from spatial data and data on physical features was used to calculate security level index values for the gated developments. These data sets enabled spatial and typological comparisons to be made. Qualitative data added a ‘voice’ to the quantitative data and provided insights into social, economic and planning aspects of gated developments. The location of gated developments in the province is largely determined by proximity to metropolitan Cape Town and areas with high occurrences of amenities. The spatio-temporal patterns and typological distinctions of gated developments are influenced by location-specific factors. In some towns the gated developments typify a living space and in others a living and lifestyle space. The security features of gated developments also vary typologically and spatially. Crime data was used to show that the distribution of non-metropolitan gated developments is not necessarily associated with towns with high levels of criminal activity. Security in these developments is not a response to rampant crime, rather a strategy brought into play in case something happens – preparedness in the unlikely event of a breach of security. The gated developments in the two case-study towns are strongly influenced by locationspecific needs, the purposes of residents and the processes of municipalities. Niche market gated developments, as represented in the thematic case studies of retirement gated developments and gated developments outside the urban edge are promoted by pull factors within towns and by the allure of an exclusive rural residential lifestyle of living in areas with high amenity offerings. The latter is linked to the transformation of agricultural land into gated developments, which signals a shift to postproductivist change in the study area. The results of this seminal investigation into non-metropolitan gated developments suggest avenues for further research endeavour. These include the need for greater understanding of the changing nature of social relations between gated and the non-gated inhabitants of non-metropolitan locales; investigation of the potential for increased topophobia within towns; and examinations of the functions of the various stakeholders and role players in establishing non-metropolitan gated developments.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Geslote woonbuurte, ook bekend as geslote gemeenskappe, ’n kenmerk van baie stede regoor die wêreld, het die onderwerp van intensiewe navorsing geword. Geslote woonbuurte in Suid-Afrikaanse stede is ‘n alomteenwoordige kenmerk van die post-apartheid stedelike landskap met baie nuwe behuisingsontwikkelings wat as beveiligde landgoede en meenthuiskomplekse gebou word. Die meerderheid van die internasionale literatuur oor geslote woonbuurte beskou hulle as ’n metropolitaanse verskynsel. Baie min internasionale studies het geslote gemeenskappe in niemetropolitaanse lokaliteite ondersoek en dié onderwerp is onverken in die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks. Hierdie proefskrif vul dié navorsingsleemte. Die studiegebied is die hele nie-metropolitaanse gebied van die Wes-Kaap provinsie. Die politiesadministriewe konsep ‘nie-metropolitaans’ word gebruik in plaas van die benaming ‘landelik’ omdat laasgenoemde ’n gebied van primêre produksie met geen diversifisering van ekonomiese aktiwiteite impliseer. Dus, sluit die studiegebied die metropolitaanse gebied van Kaapstad uit, maar sluit die res van die provinsie in waar nedersettings van verskeie grootte en met ’n diverse reeks ekonomiese aktiwiteite voorkom. Dit is in hierdie gebiedens dat geslote woonbuurte ondersoek word met die doel om besondere aspekte van hierdie tot nou toe onverkende nie-metropolitaanse geslote woonbuurte in Suid-Afrika, na vore te bring. Die spesifieke doelwitte is om die navorsing binne die breër teorietiese en konseptuele debatte rondom geslote woonbuurte te plaas; die verspreiding van die verskynsel te karteer; die ligging en die sekuriteitsaspekte van die woonbuurte op makro skaal ruimtelik te ontleed. Ceres en Swellendam word as gevallestudies behandel. Die twee dorpe se geslote woonbuurte ’n menigte beduidende kenmerke van hul geslote woonbuurte vertoon, wat verdere mikro skaalanalise regverdig. Die ruimtelike en liggingsanalises het navorsingwaardige temas oor spesifieke tipes geslote woonbuurte onthul. Die temas sluit geslote aftreewoonbuurte in Oudtshoorn en Swellendam en geslote woonbuurte buitekant dorpsgrense in. ’n Omvattende ruimtelike databasis van geslote woonbuurte binne die studiegebeid is uit verskeie bronne saamgestel en ’n proses van terreinverifiëring het vir die inwin van data oor fisiese kenmerke van elke woonbuurt gesorg. Kwalitatiewe data is by respondente verkry deur middel van onderhoude, elektroniese kommunikasie en ’n vraelys opname. Verspreidingspatrone van die geslote woonbuurte is aan die hand van die ruimtelike data vasgestel en die data oor die fisiese verskynsels is gebruik om ’n sekuriteitsindekswaardes van die geslote woonbuurte te bereken. Die datastelle het ruimtelike en tipologiese vergelykings moontlik gemaak. Kwalitatiewe data het ’n ‘stem’ aan die kwantitiewe data verleen en insig in die sosiale, ekonomiese en beplanningsaspekte van geslote woonbuurte verskaf. Die ligging van geslote woonbuurte in die provinsie is grootliks deur nabyheid aan die Kaapse metropool en gebiede met ’n hoë voorkoms van geriewe beïnvloed. Die ruimtelike- en tydspatrone en tipologiese kenmerke van geslote woonbuurte is deur liggingspesifiekefaktore beïnvloed. In sommige dorpe is die geslote woonbuurte as ’n ‘leefruimte’ gekenmerk, terwyl ander geslote woonbuurte as ‘leefruimte en leefstylruimte’ getipeer word. Die sekuriteitsverskynsels van geslote woonbuurte het ook tipologiese en ruimtelike verskeidenheid getoon. Misdaaddata is gebruik om te toon dat die verspreiding van nie-metropolitaanse geslote woonbuurte nie noodwendig ooreenstem met dorpe met hoë misdaadsyfers nie. Sekuriteit is nie ’n reaksie op buitensporige misdaadsyfers nie, eerder ’n strategie wat in werking tree in geval iets gebeur – paraatheid vir die onwaarskynlike gebeurtenis van ’n sekuriteitskending. Die ontwikkeling van geslote woonbuurte in die gevallestudiedorpe is sterk deur liggingspesifieke behoeftes, die doelstellings van inwoners en prosesse van munisipaliteite beïnvloed. Geslote woonbuurte wat nismarkte bedien, soos dié wat deur die tematiese gevallestudies verteenwoordig is, word bevorder deur sekere aantrekkingsfaktore wat dorpe bied en die bekoring van ’n eksklusiewe landelike residensiële lewensstyl in gebiede met ’n hoë voorkoms van geriewe vir lewensgenieting. Laasgenoemde is gekoppel aan die omskepping van landbougrond vir die bou van geslote woonbuurte wat ’n aanduiding van post-produktivistiese verandering in die studiegebeid is. Dié eerste en gedagteprikkelende ondersoek oor nie-metropoolitaanse geslote woonbuurte opper temas vir verdere navorsing. Dit sluit in ’n verstaan van die moontlike veranderings in sosiale verhoudings tussen die inwoners van geslote en ongeslote nie-metropolitaanse lokaliteite, die moontlikheid van verhoogde topofobie in dorpe; en ondersoeke oor die rol van verskillende insethouers en rolspelers in die ontwikkeling van nie-metropoolitaanse geslote woonbuurte.

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