|Title||An overview of top-down vs. bottom-up models for informal settlement upgrading in South Africa|
|Authors||Georgiadou, M.C., Loggia, C., Nunez Ferrera, I. and Fagan-Watson, B.|
|Editors||Ledwon, S. and Perry, G.|
The paper explores informal settlement upgrading approaches in South Africa and presents a review of top-down vs. bottom-up models, using experience and lessons learned from the Durban metropolitan area. Reflections on past upgrading efforts suggest that top-down policies in South Africa have not been successful to date. By contrast, participatory techniques, such as planning activism, can be used to enhance community empowerment and a sense of local ownership. This paper reveals that although the notion of ‘bottom-up’, participatory methods for community improvement is often discussed in international development discourses, the tools, processes and new knowledge needed to ensure a successful upgrade are under-utilised. Participation and collaboration can mean various things for informal housing upgrading and often the involvement of local communities is limited to providing feedback in already agreed development decisions from local authorities and construction companies. The paper concludes by suggesting directions for ‘co-producing’ knowledge with communities through participatory, action-research methods and integrating these insights into upgrading mechanisms and policies for housing and infrastructure provision. The cumulative impacts emerging from these approaches could aggregate into local, regional, and national environmental, social and economic benefits able to successfully transform urban areas and ensure self-reliance for local populations.
|Conference||52nd International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) Congress|
|Publisher||ISOCARP (The Hague)|
|Accepted author manuscript|