Sustainable regional development : developing a sustainability assessment framework for district and metropolitan integrated development plans

Gardener, Roy Dudley (2014-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Achieving the goal of sustainable development (SD) and sustainability has proven to be a difficult task, inter alia, because some definitions of the terms are fuzzy and ambiguous and are interpreted differently depending on the context. The spatial scale, at which sustainability should be addressed, varies from site specific to the global level. The niche area, which has had little attention specifically in the South African context, is the regional scale. Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) are just one means by which sustainability can be mainstreamed into regional development planning within the South African context. IDPs are seen as holistic, multi-sectoral, strategic plans for district, metropolitan and local government, required in terms of national legislation. Legislation and guidelines on IDPs suggest that their purpose should be to contribute to sustainable development, but it is questioned whether this is the case. Sustainability Assessments (SAs) can be seen as instruments to direct decision-making towards sustainability, and the purpose of this literature study was to review current IDP Assessment Frameworks (AFs) used by the national and Western Cape provincial governments to assess IDPs, from a sustainability perspective. A literature review was conducted to establish the meaning of sustainability and sustainable development in the context of regional planning, the challenges facing regional planning, and the issues that need to be addressed in IDPs in order to promote sustainability. The first objective of the literature study was to analyse whether present metropolitan and district IDP assessment frameworks used in the Western Cape address sustainability adequately. The second objective was to develop a Sustainability Assessment Framework (SAF) that addresses relevant sustainability issues, based on new and innovative ways of addressing SD and sustainability at a regional scale. Lessons were also learnt through examining and assessing policies and plans both locally and abroad. The literature review highlighted lessons that can be learnt from systems and complexity thinking, transdisciplinary approach, transition management, resilience and regional innovation. The use of Impact Assessments (IAs) and Sustainability Assessments (SAs) from other countries, as well as South Africa, also proved valuable. A review of existing IDP AFs was performed, to determine where the gaps are and whether the principles of regional sustainability are incorporated into current AFs. It was established that current IDP AFs do not adequately assess sustainability issues in district, metropolitan and cross-border regional plans. Current AFs lack depth from a sustainability perspective, and therefore a new SAF was proposed for metropolitan and district IDPs. This SAF highlights five (5) domains of sustainability that should be used as inputs into IDPs. These are: (1) Environmental Sustainability, (2) Social Sustainability, (3) Economic Sustainability, (4) Built Environment and Technology Sustainability, and (5) Institutional Sustainability. Further inputs into the SAF were four (4) approach-based categories derived from the literature and existing frameworks. These comprise (1) Resilience and Resilient Governance, (2) Transdisciplinary approach, (3) Complexity and Systems Thinking, and (4) Regional Innovation Systems. Different indicators were then developed which were based on these approaches, but are specific to each domain of sustainability. The indicators can be used to rate, weigh and score IDPs based on the scorecard that was developed. The overall ‘sustainability rating’ of the IDP could then be calculated.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Om volhoubaarheid en volhoubare ontwikkeling (VO) te bewerkstellig, is 'n moeilike taak, onder andere omdat sommige definisies vir die verskillende terme vaag en dubbelsinnig is en verskillend geïnterpreteer word, afhangende van die konteks. Die ruimtelike skaal waar volhoubaarheid aangespreek behoort te word, wissel vanaf terrein spesifiek tot by die globale skaal. Die nis-area wat nog min aandag geniet het, veral in die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks, is die streek-skaal. Geïntegreerde Ontwikkelingsplanne (GOPe) is net een metode waarmee volhoubaarheid in die hoofstroom opgeneem kan word in streekbeplanning binne die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks. GOPe word gesien as holistiese, multi-sektorale, strategiese planne vir distriks-, metropolitaanse en plaaslike regerings, wat deur nasionale wetgewing vereis word. Wetgewing en riglyne oor GOPe dui daarop dat hul doel is om by te dra tot volhoubare ontwikkeling, maar dit word bevraagteken of dit wel die geval is. Volhoubare evaluering kan beskou word as metodes om besluitneming in die rigting van volhoubaarheid te stuur, en die doel van hierdie studie was om huidige evalueringsraamwerke wat deur die nasionale en Wes-Kaap provinsiale regerings gebruik word om GOPe te evalueer, te ondersoek vanuit ‘n volhoubaarheids-perspektief. ‘n Literatuuroorsig is gedoen om vas te stel wat die uitdagings is wat streekbeplanning in die sig staar, wat die betekenis van volhoubaarheid en volhoubare ontwikkeling in die konteks van streeksbeplanning is en wat die kwessies is wat aangespreek behoort te word om volhoubaarheid te bevorder. Die eerste doel van die literatuur studie was om te analiseer of die huidige plaaslike GOP assessering raamwerke, wat gebruik word in die Wes-Kaap, volhoubaarheid adequaat aanspreek Die tweede doel van die studie was dus om ‘n Volhoubaarheidseveluaringsraamwerk (VER) op te stel, gebaseer op nuwe en innoverende maniere uit die literatuur om VO en volhoubaarheid op streekskaal aan te spreek, sowel as om bestaande beleid en planne, beide plaaslik en in die buiteland, te ondersoek vir lesse wat daaruit geleer kan word. Die literatuur oorsig het ook beklemtoon watter lesse geleer kan word uit stelsels- en kompleksiteitdenke, transdissiplinariteit, oorgangsbestuur, herstellingsvermoë en streeks-innovering. Die gebruik van Impakstudies en Volhoubaarheid-evaluerings vanuit ander lande, sowel as Suid-Afrika, was ook waardevol. Die hersiening van bestaande GOP Evalueringsraamwerke (ERe) vanuit 'n volhoubare perspektief is ook uitgevoer om te bepaal waar daar leemtes bestaan en of die beginsels van streeksvolhoubaarheid ingesluit is in huidige ERe. Daar is vasgestel dat volhoubaarheid nie voldoende aangespreek is in huidige GOP ERe van distriks-, metropolitaanse en streeksplanne nie en 'n nuwe Volhoubaarheidsevalueringsraamwerk (VER) is dus ontwikkel vir metropolitaanse en distrik GOPe. Hierdie VER beklemtoon vyf (5) domeine van volhoubaarheid wat as insette tot GOPe gebruik kan word. Dit sluit in: (1) Omgewingsvolhoubaarheid, (2) Sosiale volhoubaarheid, (3) Ekonomiese volhoubaarheid, (4) Beboude omgewing en Tegnologie volhoubaarheid, en (5) Institusionele volhoubaarheid. Verdere insette tot die VER was vier (4) benaderings-gebaseerde kategorieë, afgelei uit die literatuur en bestaande raamwerke. Dit behels (1) Herstellingsvermoë en herstelbestuur, (2) Transdissiplinêre benadering, (3) Kompleksiteit en Sisteem denke, en (4) Streeks-innoveringstelsels. Verskillende indikatore is daarna ontwikkel wat gebaseer is op elkeen van hierdie benaderings, maar wat spesifiek was tot elke domein van volhoubaarheid. Die indikatore is gebruik om GOPe te evalueer en om gewigte en tellings toe te ken gebaseer op ‘n telkaart wat ontwikkel is.

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