Connecting the urban informal settlement to the city : a system dynamics approach

Smit, Suzanne (2019-01)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Understanding increasing urbanisation and the proliferation of slums requires a holistic scrutiny of the metabolism of cities. However, existing urban metabolic analyses exclude a detailed grasp of how urban slums function and contribute to the metabolism of cities. Furthermore, conventional urban metabolism analytical methods are not suited to capturing informal flows and processes that contribute to urban resource use. This study therefore investigated the questions: i) What are urban informal settlements and how do they connect to the broader urban context? and ii) How does a Multi-scale Integrated Assessment of the Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism (MuSIASEM) approach contribute to the study of informal settlements in the context of sustainable urban development? The first question was addressed through a critical literature review which provided the global perspective and understanding of slums. A conceptual framework was developed for classifying urban slums based on physical and legal characteristics, forming the basis upon which different slum types may be analysed. In applying the typology to South Africa, it was found to exhibit a more nuanced typology, where five distinguishable settlement types were established. However, to achieve sustainable urban development, it is argued that urban informal settlements also need to be analysed from a metabolic perspective. The study then focused on one particular slum type, using the case study of Enkanini informal settlement in Stellenbosch, and applied MuSIASEM to address question two and to demonstrate that the societal metabolic dimension of the settlement can be quantified in terms of the use of time, money and energy. The results highlight issues to be addressed through spatial, developmental and local economic policy, such as the need for improved transport linkages. Furthermore, the MuSIASEM results highlighted issues related to the introduction of a renewable energy solution, in the form of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, to address energy access. This led to the emergence of a third research question: What are the electricity legitimacy dynamics of Enkanini informal settlement? While it is argued that MuSIASEM is a suitable approach for analysing the metabolic dimension of slums, it does not account for sociopolitical dynamics that influence the metabolic dimension. The study therefore further used Community Based System Dynamics to investigate the electricity legitimacy dynamics in the Enkanini informal settlement. Several causal relationships between the factors that affect energy fuel choice and energy access in Enkanini were found, resulting in 17 feedback loops. The use of Community Based System Dynamics modelling identified the root cause of the resistance to solar PV energy as threatening residents’ struggle for legitimacy. The key feedback loops related to community empowerment and representation. Finally, this study demonstrates the need for deeper engagement and transparent communication with the residents of informal settlements, and recognition of the non-technical, and aspirational factors that drive their energy behaviours. Whilst the Enkanini case does not deliver a comprehensive set of metabolism results, as an exploratory study into the societal metabolism of slums, it has led to and informed several subsequent studies and contributes to the development and improvement of the method for future cases.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Om toenemende verstedeliking en die uitbreiding van krotbuurte te verstaan, moet die metabolisme van stede holisties bestudeer word. Tog slaan bestaande stedelike metaboliese ontledings nie juis ag op die besonderhede van hoe stedelike krotbuurte funksioneer en tot die metabolisme van stede bydra nie. Daarbenewens is konvensionele stedelike metaboliese ontledingsmetodes nie geskik om die informele vloei en prosesse wat tot stedelike hulpbrongebruik bydra, vas te lê nie. Hierdie studie ondersoek dus die volgende vrae: (i) Wat is stedelike informele nedersettings, en hoe hou dit met die groter stedelike konteks verband? (ii) Hoe kan ’n multiskaalgeïntegreerde assesseringsbenadering tot samelewings- en ekosisteemmetabolisme (MuSIASEM) bydra tot die studie van informele nedersettings teen die agtergrond van volhoubare stedelike ontwikkeling? Die eerste navorsingsvraag is met behulp van ’n kritiese literatuurstudie ondersoek. Uit die literatuur het die globale siening en begrip van krotbuurte geblyk. ’n Konseptuele raamwerk is ontwikkel om stedelike krotbuurte op grond van fisiese en regskenmerke te klassifiseer. Hierdie tipe klassifikasie maak die grondslag uit waarop verskillende soorte krotbuurte ontleed kan word. Wanneer die tipologie op Suid-Afrika toegepas word, blyk dit meer genuanseerd te wees, en word vyf nedersettingstipes onderskei. Om egter volhoubare ontwikkeling in die hand te werk, moet stedelike informele nedersettings ook uit ’n metaboliese oogpunt ontleed word. Dus het die studie op een bepaalde tipe krotbuurt, naamlik die gevallestudie van die informele nedersetting Enkanini op Stellenbosch, gekonsentreer en die MuSIASEMbenadering toegepas om te toon dat die metabolisme van die nedersetting volgens tyd- , geld- en energiegebruik gekwantifiseer kan word. Die resultate bring kwessies aan die lig wat deur ruimtelike, ontwikkelings- en plaaslike ekonomiese beleid hanteer moet word, soos die behoefte aan beter vervoeraansluitings. Voorts lig die MuSIASEMresultate ook kwessies, veral in verband met die bekendstelling van ’n hernubare energieoplossing in die vorm van fotovoltaïese (FV) sonkragstelsels. Hieruit ontstaan ’n derde navorsingsvraag: Wat is die elektrisiteitslegitimiteit van Enkanini? Hoewel MuSIASEM dalk geskik is om die metabolisme van krotbuurte te ontleed, verklaar dit nie die sosiopolitieke dinamiek wat die metabolisme beïnvloed nie. Daarom het die studie ook gemeenskapsgebaseerde stelselsdinamiekmodellering gebruik om die elektrisiteitslegitimiteit in Enkanini te ondersoek. Verskeie oorsaaklike verbande is gevind tussen die faktore wat energiebrandstofkeuse en energietoegang in Enkanini beïnvloed. Hieruit is 17 terugvoerlusse geïdentifiseer. Die gemeenskapsgebaseerde stelselsdinamiekmodellering dui op teenkanting teen FV sonenergie as die hoofbedreiging vir inwoners se stryd om legitimiteit. Die belangrikste terugvoerlusse hou met gemeenskapsbemagtiging en -verteenwoordiging verband. Laastens dui die studie op die behoefte aan sinvoller skakeling en deursigtige kommunikasie met die inwoners van informele nedersettings, sowel as aan erkenning van die nie-tegniese en aspirasiefaktore wat hulle energiegedrag bepaal. As ’n ondersoekende studie van die samelewingsmetabolisme van krotbuurte, lewer die Enkanini-geval nie ’n omvattende stel metaboliese resultate op nie, maar dien dit wel as grondslag en rigsnoer vir verskeie verdere studies en dra ook tot die ontwikkeling en verbetering van die metode vir toekomstige navorsing by.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105626
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