Synopsis of ‘Rethinking Spatial Planning’ by Alison Todes

In the paper entitled ‘Rethinking Spatial Planning’ by Alison Todes (2008), the author discusses the relevance of a more rigorous and involved approach to spatial planning rather than the abstract design approach of spatial development frameworks. Todes (2008) argues that spatial frameworks have failed to sufficiently integrate itself with land-use management and infrastructure planning. The paper outlines three of the main approaches with which spatial planning could be enhanced. The city and its function have become increasingly complex phenomena in the past few decades with the advent of globalization and urbanization as a result of that process. Cities are experiencing an influx of people from all different cultural, social and economic backgrounds. For cities to function properly and to accommodate our different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, we need to analyze these patterns of economic activity and movements together with the livelihoods of people. With the effects of globalization clearly visible in our day-to-day lives, the economy has diversified itself. With the concept of growth poles and industrial clusters, manufacturing firms have relocated themselves to the peripheries of cities for better access to the labor and economic market, the value of on-going urban growth is primarily attributable to the economies of scale that arise from proximity to form agglomeration economies with firms in similar sectors. With the concept of urbanization, the movement from rural to urban areas in search of employment opportunities and a better quality of life has become increasingly popular. This influx of people from rural to urban areas has affected many areas of the dynamics a well functioning city should take into account. A very noticeable one is the shortage of available housing and serviced land, forcing most of these migrants to the edges of cities where they form townships or squatter camps on unoccupied land. For them, they have better access to employment within their immediate vicinity because most industrial and manufacturing firms make use of low skilled labor and are located close to these centers of low economic activity. And as Schoonraad (2000) work suggests, the impact on transportation costs is lower and daily living costs are significantly lower. It is easier for them to maintain social

The third and final concept this paper explores is that of how spatial planning should link to infrastructure planning. Planners have to be more conscious and sensitive when designing urban market spaces. it is imperative that we pay more attention to how spaces are shaped and the relationship of planning to the market economy. to make it a successful and effective public space. With the inability of spatial development frameworks (SDF) to guide development as intended. developers and private sector development have mostly driven developments in infrastructure. these infrastructure developments usually don’t follow the direction of SDF’s or SDP’s and end up creating fragmented and divided cities. It came about because of this disjuncture between spatial plans and infrastructure development.networks and cohesiveness. with an increasing interest in strategic spatial planning to direct development. With increasingly popular concepts such as smart growth and new urbanism being explored in other parts of the world. and it provides flexibility to accommodate changes in their life cycle. One of the most successful examples of linking infrastructure planning to spatial planning is the case of Curitiba with its transit-orientated development. as planners we need to assess how these spaces are shaped and how we can actively engage in this process to re-align it with the normative principles of design. Another main point the article by Todes (2008) suggests is how planning relates to markets and the economy. In terms of the current property market trends. This concept is being increasingly explored in other parts of the world. The case of . which are largely driven by developers and private sector development. with the current trend in property markets and low-income housing developments. There has to be a sense of realism in their concepts as these spaces need to be designed according to the need. The prediction of markets and its relationship to the economy and planning have been largely underestimated. However. As a result. the amount and the type of economic activity anticipated in that specific area. spatial development plans (SDP’s) were introduced to bridge the gap between the conceptual SDF and the detailed land-use schemes.

it suggests the need for a more rigorous and technical approach. but planners have come up with creative and inexpensive ways in solving universal problems for cities. our initiatives in this regard is quite young and still has a long way to go. we can conclude that political and stakeholder buy-in is very important. The success of this initiative was very dependant on the local leaders who had urban planning expertise and a sustainable . they face the same problems as do other lesser developed countries. History of planning approaches have shown us that there is not one right approach to planning but rather many factors that have to be explored and taken into consideration. According to Todes (2008). as well as the basis of strong and credible spatial plans.Curitiba is not without flaws. from the South African perspective. With the exploration of all these concepts regarding how we should proceed in order to enhance spatial planning. but with the success of Curitiba. vision for Curitiba.

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