Item Open AccessA home close to opportunities in South Africa: top down vision or bottom up demand?(Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of the Free State, 2010) Landman, KarinaEnglish: South African cities have changed tremendously over the past 50 years. Alongside growing urbanisation, people have moved further apart or closer to each other, influenced by the reigning ideologies and policies of the past and present. Cities were and are shaped by the leading corporations, institutions and to some extent by the planners who aim to implement their visions. Many of the contemporary international planning and urban design movements promote closer proximity of new housing developments to a larger variety of socio-economic opportunities. In response, international planning and development policies from many countries advocate the development of medium-density mixed housing developments to achieve increased densification and socio-economic integration and ultimately more sustainable cities. The new housing plan, Breaking New Ground (2004), also promotes this. Yet, how many people pause to consider the opinions of those for whom these developments are planned and designed? This discussion reconsiders the issue of housing location and, in particular, the importance of greater proximity of housing projects to a range of socio-economic opportunities from a resident’s point of view. Item Open AccessThe methodological rigour of South African master’s and doctoral planning theses: 1963-2007(Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of the Free State, 2010) Du Toit, Jacques𝑬𝒏𝒈𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒉 Planning knowledge is increasingly contested while publication pressure on supervisors and their students is mounting. Given these challenges, to what extent has the methodological rigour of South African master’s and doctoral planning theses improved over time? This article examines improvements in methodological rigour of theses completed between 1963 and 2007 by describing how the structure of theses and the use of research designs changed. Data are based on a survey and methodological content analysis of 143 theses sampled by university and programme. Although the structure and ‘science’ of theses improved over time, theses still require better explication of designs, while designs are increasingly limited to case studies and qualitative approaches. It is concluded that a typology of designs for planning research is needed so that students may better choose and explicate their designs. Item Open AccessNational spatial development planning in South Africa 1930-2010: an introductory comparative analysis(Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of the Free State, 2010) Oranje, Mark; Merrifield, AndrewEnglish: This article reviews the various attempts at national spatial development planning that have been introduced in South Africa over the past eighty years. It demonstrates that, despite the ostensible support for national planning during this period, such plans and proposals rarely had a direct impact on the conduct of government business. Using both the authors’ personal experiences with the most recent such ‘plan’ – the National Spatial Development Perspective – they seek to explain why such planning initiatives are so difficult to introduce and implement. Key in this regard, they argue, is that while most national planning initiatives are formulated in a control paradigm common to more local planning contexts, the plans have to function within a complex and tightly interwoven national, provincial and local system that is essentially incompatible with such a paradigm. The historical overview, they argue, suggests that such a national spatial planning intervention would require a far harder-edged form of governance leaning more in the direction of intervention and control and less so in the direction of the current softer forms of dialogue, facilitation and guidance premised by the 1996 Constitution. Item Open AccessNot another ‘night at the museum’: ‘moving on’ – from ‘developmental’ local government to ‘developmental local state’(Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of the Free State, 2010) Coetzee, JohnnyEnglish: Since the government transformation in 1994, various efforts have been made in South Africa to institute a developmental local government system to facilitate and enhance growth and development in all sectors of society and to (re)structure and (re)develop the fragmented urban regions in the country. This article argues that the local government system (including the municipal development planning system) in South Africa is not appropriate to effectively facilitate the type of development that is required in this country (and in this globalising space and time). In view of the above, this exploratory inquiry2 aims to unpack and explore the developmental status and characteristics of local government in South Africa. The article concludes with some challenges, questions and propositions in an attempt to stimulate interest, debate, further research and to determine a possible path towards a ‘new developmental local state’.