- Urban Development Framework - A Methodology for Rapid Appraisal of a Medium Sized City    click here to open paper content818 kb
by    Robinson, Peter & Godehart, Susanna | praplan@mweb.co.za   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The Urban Development Framework is a method, is a streamlined, practical methodology, formulated in South Africa to help municipal planners to analyse fast growing cities and to identify interventions to achieve desired outcomes.
Town planners in South Africa are confronted with a range of problems such as declining CBDs, informal settlements, and lack of industrial land. Most current plans do not provide sufficient information and guidance to frame and address these problems.
In the province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), the responsible department responded by commissioning study to formulate planning instruments to address these problems. The output was the Urban Development Framework (UDF) Manual which was developed and tested in uMhlathuze, the fastest growing city in KZN. The Manual was completed in 2011; later that year it received KZN South African Planning Institute Award as best professional project in 2011.
The aim of this paper is to
o present a synopsis of the approach and methodology used to construct the UDF Manual
o present the Foundation Workshop as a methodology well suited for rapid appraisal of the main urban development problems and a framework for addressing them
o discuss how the UDF Manual can be used in other cities.
The point of departure are six typical spatial components that make up South African urban municipalities (see Table). For each of these trends, problems and desired outcomes were analysed.
Area type Trends Problems Desired outcomes
Suburbs / infill areas
Former apartheid townships
Informal settlements
Dispersed peri-urban settlements
Industrial / commercial areas

A Workshop centred method was applied, starting with a Foundation workshop for whole municipality. The purpose was to identify how each of the six generic spatial components was manifested in the case study city; and to identify any other city specific spatial problems. It included analysis of municipal structure by mapping of components; filling in the Table above as facilitated exercise; and introducing generic instruments for intervention e.g. investments, incentives, regulations, partnerships. The paper will present the Foundation workshop in sufficient detail for planners to replicate in their cities.
Once the Foundation workshop had been completed a separate workshop was held on each of the six area types. Each workshop drew on the findings of the Foundation workshop in respect of the area type (e.g. declining CBD); it presented material from other cities (in South Africa and internationally) relating to the particular problem, together with best practice responses. The workshop then proceeded to formulate a methodology for responding to the issue (e.g. declining CBDs). The workshop material, methodology and findings were written up so as to become a chapter in the UDF Manual, which thus contains generic methodologies how to approach each area type for use by municipal officials. To conclude, the UDF Manual provides municipal planners with a rapid and highly cost effective approach to analyse their city as the sum of typical parts; it provides methods to identify problems in the parts; and information on how to address problems.
rapid appraisal, fast growing cities, strategic interventions
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