The Evolving Spatial Structure of South African Cities: A Reflection on the Influence of Spatial Planning Policies


D.J. Du Plessis & I. Boonzaaier

Publication date: 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014


  • Research paper


External to ACUI

Project theme: 

The need to transform the structure and morphology of South African cities remained high on the policy agenda of all three spheres of government in South Africa since 1994. The influence of a range of spatial policies and planning instruments aimed at achieving more compact urban structures and higher densities are evaluated through the application of a range of density indicators and models. A number of defining characteristics and distinct variations of density models applicable to South African cities are identified and compared to the profile of some international cities. The results confirm modest increases in densities and changes to urban form, as envisaged by spatial policies and plans. The observed patterns and changes suggest an emerging trend of more decentralized urban structures in South Africa. Published in International Planning Studies.