TRP 2016 Volume 69

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    Shopping malls with quasi-public spaces in Pretoria: neo-traditional consumption space or controlled village commons?
    (Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of the Free State, 2016) Landman, Karina
    English: Recent debates have highlighted trends towards the privatisation of public space and the incorporation of increased security measures to safeguard users. Literature has also emphasised the move away from the traditional high street to suburban shopping malls as part of an increased focus on the development of protected consumption space. As public space continuously evolves, it is interesting to find the emergence of a new type of controlled outdoor space that seems to reflect characteristics of older traditional public spaces acting as a local gathering space in suburbia, yet being very controlled within the boundaries of shopping malls and reflecting strong patterns of consumption. The paper investigates this trend within the capital city of South Africa, Pretoria, focusing on three quasi-public spaces. The findings indicate that urban design continues to play a critical role in the incorporation of characteristics that are traditionally associated with successful public spaces, but with a strong emphasis on consumption in a controlled and secure environment. At the same time, however, these spaces have also become a new type of village commons in an increasingly polarised society and, hence, cannot simply be negated as purely exclusive spaces.
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    An impact evaluation of area-based interventions in Cape Town using multivariate regression analysis
    (Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of the Free State, 2016) Geyer, Herman
    English: Area-based initiatives are popularly applied to alleviate the spillover effects of neighbourhood poverty in deprived neighbourhoods. This study analyses the effects of two area-based initiatives on neighbourhood poverty in Cape Town between 2001 and 2011 in a controlled baseline study. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the changes were the product of policies themselves or wider structural changes in the national economy, and what were the specific outcomes of the policies. The study revealed that, despite some minor gains, these policies were ineffective in reducing poverty levels in the policy areas, and that poverty levels are primarily determined by the broader changes in the economic environment and in-migration.
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    Considering urban green space and informal backyard rentals in South Africa: disproving the compensation hypothesis
    (Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of the Free State, 2016) Lategan, Louis; Cilliers, Juaneé
    English: This research reflects on planning for urban green space and the related impact of informal backyard rental densification in South Africa, based on the ‘compensation hypothesis’. Informal backyard dwellings may increase densities substantially, occupying private green space, but often without reciprocal increases in public urban green space area. According to the compensation hypothesis, residents with limited access to private green space are more likely to seek compensation elsewhere. This research employs qualitative and quantitative analyses to investigate access to, and use of green spaces in the Bridgton and Bongolethu townships, Oudtshoorn. Findings disprove the compensation hypothesis, showing that proximate public green spaces are used sporadically, not correlating to increased densities. The number of backyard dwellings does not result in compensation behaviour, but an increased number of backyard tenants affect perceptions of green space availability and privacy. Although the compensation hypothesis is disproved in this case, findings probe the need to reconsider urban green space planning within low-cost areas, particularly considering densification impacts, linked to quality of life. As such, accessibility to public green spaces, as well as their function and form should be questioned as part of broader spatial planning approaches.
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    From the editor: Das Steyn 2016
    (Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of the Free State, 2016) Steyn, Das