Pathways to Generative Urbanism? Insights from the Western Cape, South Africa.

Authors: Padraig Carmody*, Trinity College Dublin, Richard Grant, University of Miami
Topics: Africa, Economic Geography, Urban Geography
Keywords: South Africa, urbanization
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Regency Ballroom, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


One of the legacies of apartheid in South Africa is extreme uneven development. This is a result not only of market or private sector led processes, but also state engineering. Under apartheid one mechanism of “deconcentration” was forced removals of “non-whites”, sometimes to new industrial growth points, such as Atlantis in the Western Cape. With the withdrawal of subsidies with the end of apartheid many manufacturers based in Atlantis closed down or withdrew. However, there is now an attempt to revive this flagging industrial centre through a designation as a “green-tech special economic zone” in 2018. Based on primary fieldwork this paper seeks to interrogate the nature, continuities and contradictions of this incipient urban redevelopment. Using a socio-technical regimes perspective it seeks to understand the drivers of this project and whether or not it constitutes a potential pathway towards generative urbanism for the region.

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