Application of the concept of the sustainable city in low-income housing areas : a case study of Ambleton housing area, Msunduzi Municipality.
The growing urban population in South Africa has challenged the government's ability to provide adequate housing for the urban poor. In order to respond to the challenges, the government embarked on the initiative of providing Low - Income Housing (L1H). There is, however, a growing concern that these L1H developments may not be sustainable due to a number of reasons, including issues relating to land use and sub- standard construction of houses. There is need to make these L1H areas more sustainable. This can be done by employing the concept of the sustainable city. The concept in recent times has been considered by many people as an ideal to which cities should aspire. The main thrust of this study is to evaluate the concept of the sustainable city in the context of L1H in Ambleton, a settlement constructed by the government to relocate people from illegal, informal settlements within the inner city especially those found adjacent to the industrial areas. The study focuses on the issues of land use in L1H. This focus on land use is underpinned by the fundamental views that land use contributes to urban sustainability. As a result, it is necessary to examine ways in which land is being used in L1H areas and see if the current land use in Ambleton contributes to sustainability. The study shows that some people are satisfied with the amount of open spaces around their houses. Many others, however, are not satisfied because they considered open spaces in .their yard inadequate. Furthermore, public open spaces are not properly managed because there are no services to manage it. In the same vein, people have to travel long distances to get to their places of work and town for economic and leisure activities. Similarly, the provision of waste services and medical services in the study area is grossly inadequate. The study argues on that basis that the above scenario is not in accordance with the concept of sustainable city and can not therefore contribute to, the sustainability of the area of study.
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