Innovation and evidence to support effective service delivery
and high impact public investment in cities, towns and rural settlements

South African Functional Town Typology 2018:

The CSIR Functional Town Typology has been developed with the specific purpose to provide a fine grained, but nationally comparable overview of regional scale settlement patterns and trends. The latter provides a mechanism to identify, calculate and analyse a set of development information and trends pertaining to the range of towns and cities, as well as high density rural settlements across South Africa. It enable profiling of specific settlements and or the analysis of demographic and economic trends of a set of settlements with similar scale and type. The typology enables calculating the population and the economy of functional town areas, comparing town areas relative to non–town areas and for exploring regional and spatial inter-relations. It also enables temporal and spatial comparison at a regional scale of settlements independent of municipal boundary demarcation.Read more >>

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Priority towns for middle-high order social facility provision: Improving the reach, sustainability and impact of government investment.

The effective delivery of social services in rural South Africa remains a major challenge especially outside of metropolitan areas and on the urban periphery. On the supply side, challenges include the poor planning and location of facilities, uncoordinated government investment and the need to ensure sustainable and effective service delivery within a resource scarce context. On the demand side the challenges are to provide facilities in a manner that is spatially just and equitable within the context of fast growing town and settlement population, with changing demographic profiles, extensive sparsely populated areas living in different settlement configurations and patterns as well as varied levels of mobility and access to social facilities.. Read more >>

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Socially Just and Rational Social Services Provision for South African Settlements

Spatial targeting, prioritisation and alignment are seen as key to national imperatives of addressing poverty and inequality (NDP, 2011), to improve quality of life and access to services as set out by international and national targets (SDGs), as well as to achieve the principles calling for spatial transformation, sustainability, efficiency and social justice (SPLUMA, 2013). Within this context, the call for social justice with respect to constitutionally provided human rights provides a clear basis to ensure that people are not denied access to essential services because of where they live. A decade of research on social facility provision standards undertaken in conjunction with spatial analysis to inform location planning clearly demonstrates the operational challenges to provide a full range of social facility types in all parts of the country with the same intensity or service levels in a sustainable, economically viable and efficient manner. Read more >>

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The stepSA website...

stepSA is aimed at supporting practitioners within municipal planning processes, as well as decision-makers in sector departments concerned with long term infrastructure investment implications and prioritisation. The website is geared towards easy dissemination of research outputs and findings for this purpose. For the past years, stepSA has become a game changer in exploring cutting edge technology and capability development to provide the latest on spatial trends impacting on development in cities, towns and settlements. Read more about stepSA...

See for yourself what the stepSA website offers

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Tracking spatial change in cities - New set of fine grained indicators for 9 Cities

The use of a fine-grained uniform spatial resolution to depict economic and population change enabled the CSIR team to create population and economic production change indicators for the nine largest cities in South Africa. The July version of this newsletter reported on the latest State of the Cities Report (SOCR) 2016 release and the assistance provided by the CSIR in developing a number of spatial indicators to measure spatial change, and report on levels of growth and spatial transformation at the sub-city level. The urgency for spatial transformation and need for indicators to track spatial outcomes is clearly highlighted by the SOCR (2016) and the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, 2013. Read more >>

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Toolkit for Social Facility Provision in non-metropolitan SA Launched

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform recently launched the first web-based toolkit to support a differentiated application of social facility provision standards in non-metropolitan areas. The toolkit provides users with profile information on all non-metropolitan areas in South Africa and enables users to calculate the required social facility provision targets for each service region, based on a set of differentiated standards. Read more >>

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Simulating urban growth in Nelson Mandela Bay to inform long term financial sustainability

The Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality (NMBM) and the CSIR have been collaborating on a project sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology to establish an Urban Simulation Model for the NMBM since December 2009. The project set out to harness information and communication technology to establish an Urban Simulation Model for South Africa to support integrated planning, development and service delivery. Read more >>

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Is housing the answer?
stepSA research might shed new light on complex migration issues

Building on what Makgetla & Levin (2016) have put forward in a comprehensive new working paper from TIPS on the housing/ migration question on the platinum mines, stepSA’s work can perhaps contribute some tentative initial findings. Findings so far, from the project's on-going research into migration and housing in Rustenburg, Madibeng and Lephalale, may give grounds for looking again at the role of housing and services in framing the options for the platinum mining workforce, in terms of the Presidential Initiative for the distressed mining towns (2013). Read more >>

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State of Cities Report 2016 release

The South African Cities Network reports on the state of South African (largest) cities every five years through the publication of the State of the Cities Report. The latest report released recently highlights the progress made by the country’s eight metropolitan municipalities since 2012. The report monitors city development and service delivery performance against local benchmarks and strategies, national urban development priorities and international development targets. The report sets out to influence national policy and strategy through messages about what is required to achieve the desired urban development outcomes. It is also used to advise and inform the plans and strategies of cities by generating specialised and technical evidence and insights. Read more >>

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Growing vibrant, integrated cities:
stepSA Gearing transformation to the future

Research and spatial trend analyses (conducted as part of the stepSA initiative) highlights the dynamics of an increasingly youthful population, a growth in households living in poverty, and the fluidity of people-movement between cities, towns and rural settlements. The outputs of this research was recently used to inform the Department of Cooperative Governance’s draft Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF). It also provided the basis for an innovative multi-media opening of the South African Cities' Network Urban Conference (2015). Read more >>

SA's changing cities
SACN, CSIR & Cut2Black

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Featured Collaborator:

South African Local Government Association (SALGA)

In a recent letter to DST and the stepSA team, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) explicitly stated their intention to participate as a collaborator on the further development of the StepSa portal, stating that: “The current range of spatial indicators, town profiles and advanced spatial analyses data available on the StepSA portal has been identified as a key input to economic development and settlement development strategies for municipalities.” ...

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Featured Project:

SACN State of the Cities Report

Urbanisation has become a powerful force in the world and we now live in an era where more people live in towns and cities than ever before. Cities in the South (including South Africa) have also grown rapidly, not only due to the obvious economic opportunities and employment prospects, but also as people view cities as potential places where livelihoods can be improved as people also seek better access to services. To assess the progress made by South African cities in the last 20 years in relation to development outcomes as well as to identify strategic problems and opportunities facing cities, the South African Cities Network is producing the latest State of the Cities Report...

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Related Events:

South African Urban Conference 2017
30 Oct, Durban

ACC International Urban Conference 2018
1 - 3 Feb, Cape Town

Adaptation Futures 2018
18 - 21 June, Cape Town

South African Transport conference 2018
9 - 12 July, Pretoria

Planning Africa Conference 2018
14 -17 OCT, Cape Town

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