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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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An overview of Functional Economic Regions in South Africa

South African apartheid legacies, socio-economic development needs and employment challenges (especially youth unemployment) require intervention at a fundamental and large scale. Development of generative regions, can only take place if initiatives, investments, plans and projects would consider, facilitate, strengthen and extend functional economic regions and networks. The National Development Plan (NDP) has identified the need to target regional development according to regional dynamics in specific areas to maintain, expand and strengthen the existing network of gateways ports and corridors (with a specific emphasis on expanding inter-regional linkages) and regions that currently act as job engines, establish new growth zones... Read more...

Social facility investment
Preparing for urban growth

CSIR Built Environment has recently completed an assessment of social facility backlogs for the City of Tshwane. The empirical evidence and results of the analysis serve as key inputs to the social facility planning of the City, the facility management plans for individual line departments and the City’s Integrated Development Planning (IDP) process. The goal of the analyses was to support sustainable and high impact capital investment / expansion. Social facility location planning involves a process of accessibility analysis, which has been developed and effectively applied by the CSIR in several metros over the past decade. The assessment was undertaken for the City of Tshwane’s 2014 population and its 2021 projected population. Considering projected population growth, the approach enables metros to ensure that access for citizens to key services is improved over the medium-long term. Read more...

The rationalising the district court areas in South Africa - utilising several spatial analysis methods

It is the right of every South African to have access to justice and that right is specifically provided for by Section 34 of the Constitution, 1996 and this also relates to the location of courts and their service areas. Due to South Africa’s past spatial development history the location of people versus where facilities are, is not always in balance. In addition demographic change has occurred in many places which can result in people being far from such facilities (The jurisdiction of a district court means that residents in the demarcation of the magisterial district can only go to its courts as the entry point to the courts system). In order to improve spatial justice and in support the process of rationalisation of the magisterial districts the CSIR has undertaken geospatial accessibility analysis supplemented with several case specific investigations. Read more...

Spatial Strategies Alignment Review Project

South African urban nodes and settlements face complex developmental challenges which require coordinated governance and investment interventions. However, municipalities, cities and national and provincial government departments are faced with the reality of limited resources, pressures to increase delivery over the short term, as well as the need for structural spatial-economic transformation, whilst considering future sustainability. In a recent research project conducted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), in collaboration with the South African Cities Network (SACN) and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), the alignment of spatial strategies were explored. The project undertook to investigate the spatial ‘logic’ between the plethora of instruments that guide planning, resource allocation, implementation and monitoring and evaluation within specific cities and towns. Read more...

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. Read more...

Support for rural infrastructure investment prioritisation in Priority Rural Districts DRDLR

Responding to Government’s action Plan 6, the Department of Rural Development & Land Reform (DRDLR) initiated the Priority Rural District Infrastructure Investment Project to actively align government investment priorities around core catalytic investment and initiatives in South Africa’s distressed rural districts. In support of a bottom-up and collaborative multi-agent approach, the DRDLR & CSIR Spatial Planning Support teams used the basis provided by the spatially refined socio-economic change indicators within stepSA’s Regional Profiler and advanced spatial analyses capabilities to develop spatially refined development trend profiles, as well as identify priority settlements and investment areas within more than 20 districts. Read more...

CSIR/SACN Functional City, Town and Settlement Tyopolgy and Profiles

The South African government made significant progress over the last 15 years in building a democratic governance system and policy framework; in establishing local, regional and national governance capabilities; and in enhancing quality of life for the majority of its citizens through delivering basic services and housing; addressing poverty and in providing access to services and economic opportunities. In support of a process to review the National Urban Development Framework, the CSIR, Built Environment was commissioned by the South African Cities Network to identify significant national demographic, economic, social and service trends impacting on the national space economy and the growth and development of South Africa’s towns, cities and city regions. Read more...

Housing Delivery Demand Charts

A rigorous and shared understanding of development patterns and trends, and the driving forces that shape them, are crucial for planners and decision-makers to develop robust and sustainable plans that could better inform investment decisions for specific areas. As part of the drive to support the developmental state, in which spheres and sectors cooperate and coordinate to realise its development path, the Department of Science and Technology identified the need for rigorous spatial and temporal evidence to promote a shared understanding of past, current and possible future development patterns and trends. The HSRC produced delivery demand guide charts which are aimed at supporting the preparation of the housing and transport chapters of integrated development plans. Read more...

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