An approach to spatial planning in Southern Africa with particular reference to Transkei's north-east region.
Robinson, Peter Spencer.
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The aim of this research was to investigate how spatial planning could contribute to development in the peripheral regions of Southern Africa. It was undertaken at a time when conventional regional planning was under attack from several quarters and the very relevance of planning at regional scale was being questioned. This state of flux in regional planning doctrine and practice presented an opportune setting to establish a method embracing the most relevant components of the debate. The proposed approach to spatial planning took into account the main parameters determining the context within which both planning and development can occur in Southern Africa's peripheral regions. It was tested in a typical environment - that of north-eastern Transkei. The proposed methodology places particular emphasis on the integrative role of planning (sectoral and spatial) at regional scale and on the means of implementation. It was used to draw up a Spatial Development Plan for the region and to set the implementation process in motion. The impact of both the plan and the process were monitored and evaluated after two years. With some refinements, the methodology proved to be an effective means of planning for development and initiating a sequence of actions geared towards development in the region. The conclusions were that spatial planning has a role to play in increasing the productive capacities and improving the living conditions of people in peripheral regions. However, this role is constrained both by the structural dimensions of underdevelopment in these areas (which spatial planning alone cannot resolve), and by the extent of which planners are able to remain involved in the implementation of their plans as part of a continuous development process. It is apparent that more attention needs to be paid to consultation, communication and community liaison than to the technical side of planning. Thus planners need not only to return to the fields of procedural and substantive theory to bolster their doctrine; but they also need to adopt the approach of McGee's "dirty boots brigade".
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