oa Civil Engineer in South Africa - Competition for open spaces within South Africa's urban areas : technical paper

Volume 34, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0009-7845



South Africa's urban areas are under great pressure to provide facilities for those least able to afford them. A methodology is needed for resolution of the competition between 'open spaces' and 'development'. The paper outlines and attempts to clarify some of the principal issues that relate to the provision of open spaces in urban areas. Firstly, the types of open spaces in urban areas and their functions are examined. Secondly, consideration is given to the factors opposing the provision of these open spaces. Thirdly, given the projected rapid growth of our urban areas and the financial stresses they face, a case is made for specific principles to guide open space reservation and planning. Fourthly, the role of professionals in providing for various forms of open space is reviewed. An important conclusion of the paper is that the competition between open spaces and development is often only apparent, in that some developments, especially by their accommodating multi-functional use, provide opportunities for achieving some of the objectives of open spaces and opportunities for trade-offs between community groups, which might not otherwise be attained. The value of public participation is stressed.

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