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Spatial policy, planning and infrastructure investment

Lessons from urban simulations in three South African cities

Article image

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Maria Coetzee (†), Louis Waldeck, Alize le Roux, Cathy Meiklejohn, Willemien van Niekerk, Tsepang Leuta

01 May 2014


uKESA Librarian, Willemien van Niekerk

Journal article

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

South Africa

This article is based on the assumption that more spatially efficient investment choices in both economic and basic infrastructure spending can make a significant impact on the equity, efficiency and sustainability of human settlements. Emerging from work conducted as part of a Department of Science and Technology-funded Integrated Planning and Development Modelling (IPDM) project, the article argues that decisions about infrastructure investment in South African metropolitan areas ought to be grounded in robust and rigorous analysis and scenario evaluation. More evidence, and better evidence, an understanding of spatial trends and the underlying forces that shape them, are needed to support planning and infrastructure investment. Urban simulation platforms offer valuable tools in this regard. Findings of simulation work in three metropolitan areas (eThekwini, Nelson Mandela Bay and Johannesburg) are presented to demonstrate this, and some implications for spatial policy, planning and infrastructure investment are highlighted.


Website References

Built environment

Human settlements

Human settlements



Nelson Mandela Bay

South Africa

Spatial analysis

Spatial aspects

Spatial development



Urban areas

Urban development



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