Towards a sustainable urban form, the influences of social and physical environment: a case study of Albert Park, eThekwini Municipality.
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This study examined the interactions between the social and physical environment as manifested in urban areas. The study examined the extent, ways in which urban decay has affected Albert Park. In addition, it examined the design of the area, and took into consideration whether proper facilities, security, exist to create a link between the social and physical environment, which ultimately can encourage sustainability. The objective of this study was to examine the conditions in the Park by focusing on the degree to which both the social and physical environment have affected the area, the causes and effects of the decay, and solutions to the problem. The study focused on the interactions between the social and physical environment. This was a qualitative study in which both secondary and primary data was used. Interviews were held with relevant stakeholders as residents of Albert Park. The research findings revealed that Albert Park is experiencing major issues, including crime, drug abuse, and vagrancy, and there are no proper measures in place at present to prevent these problems. Consequently, the area has decayed from lack of proper maintenance and control measures. It is clear that this will continue unless appropriate corrective measures are implemented. It was evident from observation and the interviews conducted that the conditions in Albert Park are due to the low income of its residents, as well as vagrants. Other contributing factors include lack of management and security. Due to low job opportunities available within the area, individuals are exploited by unscrupulous landlords. Thus, Albert Park requires further research on proper planning and control measures in order to prevent these poor conditions from escalating and to achieve a sustainable urban area.