Repository logo

Investigating the implications of edge-city development on integrated spatial planning: case study of Umhlanga, (Prestondale) eThekwini Municipality.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



In the global South, the desire for cities to increase their participation in the global economy by cultivating world cities has led to a heightened presence of high-end privatized urban enclaves that have seemingly become key drivers of city development. Conceptualised as edge cities under the Postmodern Urbanisation framework in the Los Angeles school of thought, these urban enclaves showcase how the decentralization of cities and the demand for affluent lifestyle living has dominated city development trajectories in both developed and developing countries. In response to this trend, more cities are embracing urban policy discourses and spatial plans that are orientated around achieving spatial integration with the interest of ensuring equitable access to city resources for all. The planning discourse in South Africa remains committed to transforming the urban morphology of South African cities from one that is plagued with spatial segregation and fragmentation to one that practises urban compaction and integrated urban development. With this background, the main objective of the study was to find out the impact that edge city development has on the transformation agenda that advocates for integrated spatial planning within the South African urban landscape. A qualitative research approach was used to obtain findings using structured key-informant interviews as a primary data collection source, where purposive sampling was used to purposefully select the sample population. The study found that the development of edge cities perpetuates spatial segregation patterns that exist within the South African urban from. Despite legislature and policy commitment to spatial transformation and integrated development processes, edge city development continues to develop along economic and class divisions that are a legacy of apartheid planning. Furthermore, the study found that the implications that edge city development has towards achieving integrated spatial planning includes increased urban sprawl, deepening socio-economic divisions, spatial exclusivity as well as a lack of public facilities that are not privatized.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.