South African Cities Network launches The Urban Land Series and Dialogues to explore tackle the urgent land issues in South African Cities
The South African Cities Network (SACN) will examine South Africa’s most pressing land issues through a series of working papers and dynamic dialogues taking place in October and November this year.
The SACN Urban Land Series will put in sharp focus the neglected subject around urban land in South African cities. In addressing the legacy of apartheid, the land response in South Africa has focused largely on restitution, redistribution and redress through the land claims process – mainly related to rural areas.
To explore and unpack critical issues, the SACN has assembled a number of urban land experts who will explore questions related to the country’s urban land through working papers. Each paper attempts to look at urban land through a particular lens in order to understand the often diverging viewpoints. The working papers outline and capture a set of perspectives (be they aligned or conflicting), as a basis for further dialogue and research, to inform more effective and transformative urban land interventions. To facilitate this, dialogues will be held around the country where various topics and themes around the urban land question will be robustly debated.
Themes covered in this series are:
The History and evolution of the urban land response in SA
The politics and social value of urban land
Mainstreaming biodiversity in urban land and spatial planning
Land markets and translating policy to practices
The Land Series is targeted at policymakers and planners, academia and broader civil society. Most importantly, the papers are intended to contribute to a deeper, more nuanced debate about the role of urban land in spatial transformation. In particular, they attempt to provide insights that will allow metro municipalities to better understand land issues and thus develop better interventions that respond to the need for transformation.
Says SACN CEO, Sithole Mbanga: “Land is an indispensable ingredient to achieving inclusive and sustainable city development. With increasing urbanisation, the issue of how to address urban land challenges has repeatedly come to the fore. More and more people are seeking opportunities in towns and cities across the country. Responses can no longer be muted but, at the same time, there is a need to be realistic about the current situation and the strategic interventions required to address the urban land issue and the broader spatial transformation agenda.”
The Land Series dialogues will take place at:
School of Government, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town on Friday, 2 October 2015, 1P.M – 4P.M Theme: History and evolution of the urban land response in SA. Panellists: Stephen Berrisford, Paul Hendler, Seth Maqetuka. Facilitator: Nomalanga Mkhize