The development of an open space system for the Queensburgh municipal area.
Seppings, Kerry Ann.
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This project was conducted with the view of extending the Durban Municipal Open Space System into surrounding municipalities. It was aimed at adopting a holistic approach to nature conservation by providing for the needs of the current human population whilst ensuring the long term survival of representative natural biota of the area. A preliminary study was conducted to: provide a basis for a more detailed vegetation survey; to assess the current public open space areas and to determine the land use history of the area. The vegetation was categorised into 14 community types and mapped to provide the basis for more detailed sampling. A survey of public open spaces revealed that most of the public parks were not providing for the needs of the local residents and that nature reserves and sports fields were more popular than conventional public parks. The land use history study revealed that the study area has been utilised for: cultivation; grazing; market gardening and more recently residential and industrial development purposes. A vegetation survey using phytosociological methods revealed that the vegetation in Queensburgh was dominated by alien invasive plant species although pockets of indigenous vegetation did occur. Drawing from the principles of reticular biogeography an open space system was designed using the information gained from the vegetation survey and preliminary study. The design included: 4 core areas where conservation was a priority; 3 corridors linking the core areas and a number of buffer areas. A general management plan was subsequently developed for the system. Management suggestions were concerned with: ecological; economical and sociological aspects. The open space system offers Queensburgh the opportunity to contribute to the national reconstruction and development program (RDP) by upgrading the current standard of living of the local residents without compromising the natural resources available to future generations.