Research and Publications

Research & Publications

  • EY Paper 1: A sustainability review of the global food system

    Luke Metelerkamp

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    EY Food Systems Series: Thought leadership for corporate engagement in global food systems.

    Food system series: Paper I. March 2013. From our soils to our value chains, the global food system exists in a state of increasing dysfunctionality. The simple facts speak volumes about what is not working: one in six children are undernourished, yet one in four are overweight. As renowned food activist and academic, Raj Patel recognises: “for the first time in human history, tomorrow’s generation is predicted to die younger because of today’s food system”. Unlike other pressing challenges, such as climate change and rapid ecosystem degradation which manifest themselves largely as external problems for which society will pay tomorrow for today’s sins, the crisis of our food systems presents a very present and tangible threat to business operations globally.

    Within this series

    • Paper I: A sustainability review of the global food system
    • Paper II: Making sense of under-nutrition and over-consumption: agenda setting for sustainability in the food sector
    • Paper III: 1913 land act – The state of South African land ownership 100 years on
    • Paper IV: Consolidation in the food system – risks, responsibilities and opportunities
    • Paper V: Soil and sustainability – what every CSR manager needs to know

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    3984
    Food Systems
  • EY Paper 5: Soil - the silent frontier

    Luke Metelerkamp

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    Compiled by Luke Metelerkamp on behalf of the Sustainability Institute for EY Food Systems Series: Thought leadership for corporate engagement in global food systems.

    Food system series: Paper V. February 2014. This paper argues that there is no possibility of overcoming African food insecurity or transforming Africa into a vibrant agricultural powerhouse if current trends in soil degradation are not arrested and actively reversed. This issue is not just of relevance to agricultural companies; through its direct connection to food prices and rural employment opportunities, soil degradation will drive inflation and unemployment across the continent.

    Within this series

    • Paper I: A sustainability review of the global food system
    • Paper II: Making sense of under-nutrition and over-consumption: agenda setting for sustainability in the food sector
    • Paper III: 1913 land act – The state of South African land ownership 100 years on
    • Paper IV: Consolidation in the food system – risks, responsibilities and opportunities
    • Paper V: Soil and sustainability – what every CSR manager needs to know
    3986
    Food Systems
  • Food security and the urban informal economy in South Africa

    Etai Even-Zahav

    Document type: Student Research

    Masters Thesis (2016). Etai's 2016 thesis earned a cum laude pass, and was praised by examiners for the systematic approach to the literature, as well as the deeply ethnographic empirical research approach.

     

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    5303
    Food Systems
  • Fresh produce markets could help shape SA's farming future

    Luke Metelerkamp

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    A short article which focuses on the impact of farm consolidation within agricultural economies in order to highlight the role local markets can play in combating the global trend in growing farm sizes. It uses the Latin American system of local fresh produce markets as an example of how South Africa could utilise local market systems. The original article was an op-ed piece for Farmers Weekly, South Africa. Key words: Local Markets, Agriculture, Value Chains, Farm Sizes, South Africa, Costa Rica.

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    1833
    Food Systems
  • From Industrial Agriculture to Agro-Ecological Farming

    Dr Tarak Kate

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    Prof Tarak Kate, who is appointed as Extra-Professor in the School of Public Management and Planning and works in India with organic farmers, wrote this paper to bring to a wider audience the ideas that he discusses in the module he teaches each year on the Bphil programme (Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture). The paper emerged from a talk hosted by ECSECC in East London in 2009.

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    1644
    Food Systems
  • Green Economy Modelling Report of South Africa

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    Report on the systems dynamics modelling that a SI/SPL team did for the South African Government, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme. Provides a framework for analysing the practical implementation of green economy policies.

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    1606
    Sustainable Cities
  • Green Living Guide

    Natalie Mayer & Blake Robinson

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    This guide is aimed at assisting South Africans to live more environmentally friendly lifestyles by providing a range of suggestions as to behavioral changes and investments that can help to reduce the impact of their homes on the environment and natural resources.

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    5118
  • Greening the south african growth path: transitioning to sustainability

    Dr. Camaren Peter, Prof. Mark Swilling

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    Abstract: In order to substantiate the need for a transition to a green economy in South Africa, this paper argues that the current resource and energy intensive growth path is threatened by the economic implications of resource depletion. This will increasingly indicate the competitiveness of the economy (and its products and services) in the future as new forms of consumer demand are created by regulatory interventions, market forces and cultural change. These factors all point to a future where the competitiveness and sustainability of growth in the South African economy is contingent on how we negotiate emerging resource limitations. It is a clear that demand side mitigation efforts alone will not be enough. What is needed is normative change that ultimately translates into wide-scale behavioural change. We argue that this can be achieved by adopting the appropriate conceptual and theoretical frameworks for (1) decoupling (i.e. of economic growth rates from rates of resource use and associated ecological impacts), and (2) a transitioning to a more sustainable, green South African economy by supporting sustainability oriented innovations and associated investments.

    Of relevance to food systems researchers and practitioners is that significant focus is given to food, agriculture and soils.

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    1811
  • iKapa Growth and Development Strategy (Western Cape)

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    This document was adopted by the Western Cape Provincial Government as a White Paper in November 2007. It is the official policy framework for promoting sustainable growth and development in the Western Cape. Professors Mark Swilling and Martin de Wit were contracted to write the document.

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    1667
    Development Planning
  • Impact of SA Firms on the Liberalised Zambian Economy

    Lucky Mulusa

    Document type: Student Research

    Descriptive analysis of certain aspects of the impact that SA firms operating in Zambia have on the local economy. Core argument is that Zambia's neo-liberal economic policies and the failure by SA firms to behave in Zambia in accordance with stated 'good governance' principles, results in negative economic consequences for the Zambia economy. Journal article, December 2005

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    1980
    Food Systems
  • Infrastructure Development in Cape Town - Part 1

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    This is Part 1 of a 3 Part Report prepared for the Sustainability Institute by MCA, a Cape Town - based development planning consultancy. Funded by CORDAID, this report provides the basis for future policy work on sustainable infrastructure options.

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    1666
    Development Planning
  • Infrastructure Development in Cape Town - Part 2

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    This is Part 2 of a 3 Part Report prepared for the Sustainability Institute by MCA, a Cape Town - based development planning consultancy. Funded by CORDAID, this report provides the basis for future policy work on sustainable infrastructure options.

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    1656
    Development Planning
  • Infrastructure Development in Cape Town - Part 3

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    This is Part 3 of a 3 Part Report prepared for the Sustainability Institute by MCA, a Cape Town - based development planning consultancy. Funded by CORDAID, this report provides the basis for future policy work on sustainable infrastructure options.

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    1684
    Development Planning
  • Innovators in disrupted cities: an exploration of the Creative Class theory in urban(ising) Africa

    Lauren Rosenberg & Alan Brent

    Document type: Student Research

    Paper presented at the 19th International Sustainable Development Conference, Spier 1-3 July 2013, co-hosted by the SI. (Lauren Rosenberg is a graduate of the Mphil in Sustainable Development Programme, and this paper is based on her thesis.)

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    1663
    Sustainable Cities
  • Integrated approaches to innovative climate change adaptation and resource use in Africa

    Prof Martin de Wit, Prof Mark Swilling, Mr John van Breda, Dr Nicholas Ozor, Prof Shem Wandiga, Prof Richard Kangalawe

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    Conference paper presented at First Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA I), At Addis Abeba, Ethiopia.

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    5211
    Resource Efficiencies
  • Internal Resource Panel Report: Resource Efficiency - potential & economic implications

    Paul Ekins, Nick Hughes, Mark Swilling, Stefan Bringezu, Charles Arden Clarke, Marina Fischer-Kowalski, Thomas Graedel, Maarten Hajer, Seiji Hashimoto, Steve Hatfield-Dodds, Petr Havlik, Edgar Hertwich, John Ingram, Katja Kruit, Ben Milligan, Yuichi Morig

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    A report on the most promising potentials and solutions for resource efficiency for all countries - developed, newly industrialized and developing. This rapid assessment report is the result of a truly collective effort by scientists and experts of the International Resource Panel who thoroughly reviewed the best science available. The findings of the report point out the importance of joining forces for acting now as well as the huge potential that resource efficiency can have, if it is implemented carefully and supported across different sectors and at multiple levels. The pressing need to invest in resource efficiency could actually lead to a positive economic outcome. The report shows how resource efficiency can lead to higher economic growth and employment, if supported by well-designed policies.

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    5149
    Resource Efficiencies
  • Learnable Lessons from South Africa

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    Power Point presentation: Learnable Lessons on Sustainability from the Provision of Electricity in South Africa by M.K. Heun, J.L. Van Niekerk, M. Swilling, A.J. Meyer, A. Brent and T. Fluri. Proceedings of the American Society for Mechanical Engineering's 2010 4th international Conference on Energy Sustainability (ES2010);17-22 May 2010, Phoenix, Arizona.;(See: http://www.solar2010.org/program/es2010.htm)

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    1776
    Education & Learning
  • Linking complexity and sustainability theories: implications for modeling sustainability transitions

    Camaren Peter & Mark Swilling

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    In this paper, we deploy a complexity theory as the foundation for integration of different theoretical approaches to sustainability and develop a rationale for a complexity-based framework for modeling transitions to sustainability. We propose a framework based on a comparison of complex systems’ properties that characterize the different theories that deal with transitions to sustainability. We argue that adopting a complexity theory based approach for modeling transitions requires going beyond deterministic frameworks; by adopting a probabilistic, integrative, inclusive and adaptive approach that can support transitions. We also illustrate how this complexity-based modeling framework can be implemented; i.e., how it can be used to select modeling techniques that address particular properties of complex systems that we need to understand in order to model transitions to sustainability. In doing so, we establish a complexity-based approach towards modeling sustainability transitions that caters for the broad range of complex systems’ properties that are required to model transitions to sustainability.

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    5208
  • Lynedoch Ecovillage: an experiment in sustainability

    Philip Fourie

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    Philip Fourie help project manage the implementation of aspects of the housing development at Lyneodch. This experience provides the basis for this article in a journal on operations research.

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    1625
    Education & Learning
  • Lynedoch's Water and Sanitation system

    Terry Dowling

    Document type: Student Research

    Terry Dowling graduated an an MPhil in Sustainable Development Planning and Management in December 2007. He wrote up his research as a Journal Article, entitled 'Sustainable Development in Water and Sanitation': A Case Study of the Water and Sanitation System at the Lynedoch EcoVillage Development.

    1982
  • Measuring household food security Status in taraba state, nigeria: Comparing key indicators

    Chinweoke Ike

    Document type: Student Research

    Master's Thesis (2015). Measuring food security is challenging due to its multidimensional nature as all four dimensions (availability, access, utilisation, and stability) need to be achieved simultaneously. This study therefore identified how the three most widely used indicators of food security, the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS), Dietary Diversity Score (DDS) and the Coping Strategies Index (CSI), can complement one other in capturing the multiple dimensions of food security. The study brought them together in one cross-sectional household survey of 409 randomly selected households in Taraba State, Nigeria.

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    5305
    Food Systems
  • Microbial Stimulants, snake oil or silver bullet?

    Luke Metelerkamp

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    A case study of successful application of homemade microbial stimulants under irrigated conditions. 

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    3977
    Food Systems
  • Mitigating risks and vulnerabilities in the energy-food-water nexus in developing countries: Summary for Policymakers.

    Jeremy Wakeford, Candice Kelly, Sasha Mentz Lagrange

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    Sustainability Institute Projects recently completed a year-long research project entitled “Mitigating risks and vulnerabilities in the energy-food-water nexus in developing countries”, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development. The project was led by Dr Jeremy Wakeford, an Extraordinary Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Leadership and currently a Macroeconomist at Quantum Global Research Lab in Switzerland, and included contributions by Candice Kelly, Sasha Mentz Lagrange, Florian Kroll, Luke Metelerkamp, and Dr Tarak Kate.

    The report analyses global nexus interconnections (such as the dependence of food systems on energy at every stage of the food value chain) and identifies key drivers, which include economic and population growth, resource depletion, environmental degradation, climate change and globalisation. The study also delved into more detail by analysing the nexus in three case study countries (Malawi, South Africa and Cuba), which represent different levels and types of economic development and ‘socio-metabolic regimes’ (agrarian, industrial and agro-ecological).

    A wide range of mitigation strategies, policies and measures are put forward that can help developing country governments to manage the nexus more effectively. These include ways to strengthen institutions, governance and policy coherence, as well as technical measures to boost resilience and sustainability of energy, food and water systems and to accelerate a transition to green economies.

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    5096
  • Oil Shock Vulnerabilities & Impacts: Case Study of India

    Sumetee Pahwa-Gajjar and Jeremy Wakeford

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    This report presents an Indian country case study of oil dependencies and vulnerabilities to oil price and supply shocks, and forms part of a broader study commissioned by the United Kingdom Department for International Development titled “Oil Shock Mitigation Strategies for Developing Countries”.  It is one of four case studies as part a research project funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development which analyzed the key socioeconomic vulnerabi

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    5123
  • Oil Shock Vulnerabilities & Impacts: Case Study of Malawi

    Blake Robinson and Jeremy Wakeford

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    This case study examines Malawi as an example of a low income oil importing country from the perspective of its vulnerability to shocks in oil price and supply. It is one of four case studies as part a research project funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development which analyzed the key socioeconomic vulnerabilities to and likely impact of oil price and supply shocks on developing countries.

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    5124
  • Oil Shock Vulnerabilities & Impacts: Case Study of Nigeria

    Martin de Wit and Doug Crookes

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    This section of the report presents the net oil exporting country case study (namely, Nigeria) of oil dependencies and vulnerabilities to oil price and supply shocks. It is one of four case studies as part a research project funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development which analyzed the key socioeconomic vulnerabilities to and likely impact of oil price and supply shocks on developing countries.

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    5125
  • Oil Shock Vulnerabilities & Impacts: Case Study of South Africa

    Jeremy Wakeford

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    This report presents a South African country case study of oil dependencies and vulnerabilities to oil price and supply shocks. It is one of four case studies as part a research project funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development which analyzed the key socioeconomic vulnerabilities to and likely impact of oil price and supply shocks on developing countries.

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    5126
  • Oude Molen Scenario Part 2

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    See blurb for Part 1 of this document.

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    1673
    Sustainable Cities
  • Peak oil and the transition to a sustainable economy in South Africa

    Jeremy Wakeford

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    Peak oil and the transition to a sustainable economy in South Africa. Paper presented at the 19th International Sustainable Development Conference, Spier 1-3 July 2013, co-hosted by the SI. (Jeremy Wakeford graduated from the Phd programme in Sustainable Development, this paper was based on his Phd thesis.)

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    1652
    Resource Efficiencies
  • Philippi Business Place - Final Plan

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    This is the Strategic Development Framework for an ecologically designed development in Philippi at the so-called Old Cement Factory site. The Sustainability Institute, as a member of the Board of the Philippi Business Place, project-managed the design process. This provides a model for similar projects. The project was never implemented and the SI resigned from the Board in 2009.  

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    1635
    Development Planning
  • Philippi Horticultural Area - A City asset or potential development node? Summary Report

    Dr Jane Battersby-Lennard and Gareth Haysom

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    The primary focus of this report is on the role of the Philippi Horticultural Area in the Cape Town food system. Regardless of the multiple needs and perspectives on the Philippi Horticultural Area (see figure 1), the area is first and foremost a food production area, one with a long history of food production, a history dating back to the mid 1800’s4, and even earlier5. This research sought to assess the importance of the Philippi Horticultural Area in terms of its overall value to the entire Cape Town food system. While mentioned as secondary information, citing specific specialist reports, this report does not engage directly in the other aspects pertaining to the PHA such as sand mining, aquifer management nor the technical merits, or lack thereof, of housing within the area. These aspects are beyond this research brief and skills of the authors of this report. Previous assessments of the PHA have not taken an explicit food lens.

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    1626
    Food Systems
  • Philippi SDF

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

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    1691
    Development Planning
  • Profile of Doctoral Students in the Transdisciplinary Research Programme

    Document type: Student Research

    Information about the topics and descriptions of doctoral research carried out under the auspices of the TsamaHub.

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    1854
    Education & Learning
  • Reinventing Stellenbosch strategy doc

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

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    1692
    Development Planning
  • Rethinking Incremental Urbanism: co-production of incremental informal settlement upgrading strategies

    Prof. Mark Swilling, Lauren Tavener-Smith, Andres Keller, Vanessa Von de Heyde & Berry Wessels

    Document type: Student Research

    This is the first attempt at integrating research by a group of postgraduate students who have been conduction transdisicplinary research in an informal settlement called Enkanini. This article will be presented at the International Sustainable Development Research Conference taking place in Stellenbosch in July 2013, and has been submitted for consideration for publication in a book edited by Isandla.

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    1642
    Sustainable Cities
  • Rethinking the Sustainability of the South African City

    Mark Swilling

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    Reviews the contemporary urban studies literature and argues that with few exceptions this literature has ignored the rapidly growing literature on sustainable cities. The result is that SA urban development policies have not addressed the challenge of making urban development ecologically sustainable.

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    1703
  • Review of Climate Change Legislation and Policies

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    Review of International and African Climate Change Legislation and Policies. Report Commissioned by AWEPA Parliamentary Support Programme in South Africa. 20 March 2012.

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    1683
    Development Planning
  • SANS 10400-XA Energy in Buildings Guide for Architects

    Sustainability Institute.

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    Since the promulgation of the SANS 10400-XA regulations in November 2039, it is compulsory for all new buildings to adhere to certain energy efficiency guidelines which includes a specification for renewable energy contribution to total energy consumed. This Guide was compiled by SI Projects for Architects and funded by Nedbank.

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    1636
    Renewable Energy
  • SANS 10400-XA Energy Use in Buildings - a Developer's Guide

    Sustainability Institute.

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    Since the promulgation of the SANS 10400-XA regulations, it is compulsory for all new buildings to adhere to certain energy efficiency guidelines which includes a specification for renewable energy contribution to total energy consumed. This Guide was compiled by SI Projects for Developers and funded by NEDBANK.

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    1657
    Renewable Energy
  • SANS 10400-XA Energy Use in Buildings Guide for Home Owners

    Sustainability Institute.

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    Since the promulgation of the SANS 10400-XA regulations in November 2039, it is compulsory for all new buildings to adhere to certain energy efficiency guidelines which includes a specification for renewable energy contribution to total energy consumed. This Guide was compiled by SI Projects for home owners and funded by NEDBANK.

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    1628
    Renewable Energy
  • Small Farmers feeding one billion

    Luke Metelerkamp

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    Connected to land: a photographic essay by Luke Metelerkamp of small farmers feeding 1 billion.

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    3976
    Food Systems
  • South Africa Green Economy

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    The present study was undertaken at the request of South's Africa Department of Environmental Affairs to assess potential opportunities and options to promote a green economy, with a focus on key economic sectors set out by South Africa';s National Development Plan Vision 2030. Commissioned by UNEP, the assessment was led by Stellenbosch University and the Sustainability Institute of South Africa, in cooperation with the Millennium Institute. It presents a modelling exercise that compares a scenario of investments directed to â€business-as-usual€ (BAU) with scenarios of investments allocated to four critical sectors for a transition to a green economy in South Africa, namely: natural resource management, agriculture, transport and energy.

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    1632
  • South African Cities in the Second Decade of Democracy

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    South African Cities in the Second Decade of Democracy: Emerging Conceptual and Policy Spaces for a New Urban Agenda by Prof. Mark Swilling. This paper was presented at the International Colloquiem: Urban Challenges in Brazil and South Africa, Rio de Janeiro, 10-13 September, 2007.

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    1661
    Sustainable Cities
  • Spier Sustainability Report

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    The Sustainability Institute's research team helped Spier to write its Sustainability Report which won top honours at ACCA Awards this year.

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    1647
  • Spirituality and Nature in the Transformation to a More Sustainable World

    Helen Lockhart

    Document type: Student Research

    Master's thesis. Spirituality and Nature in the Transformation to a More Sustainable World: Perspectives of South African Change Agents. The central premise of this thesis is that humans are disconnected and alienated from Nature and it proposes that we need to attempt to restore this connection in order to overcome the current socioecological crises which threaten our survival as a species on the planet. In response to the research question as to whether a spiritual relationship with Nature could assist in the transformation to a more sustainable world, this study examines the concepts of Nature and spirituality and the relationship between them and, in particular, explores the spiritual practices and human-Nature connections experienced by six South African change agents.

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    1914
    Education & Learning
  • State of African Cities Report 2014

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    SI Projects contributed significantly to the ideas and the research that went into the compilation of 2014 State of African Cities Report that focuses on the urban transition that is needed in Africa.

    1640
    Sustainable Cities
  • Stellenbosch 2017 Housing Strategy, 2008

    Paul Henlder and Mark Swilling

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    Detailed final report on the Stellenbosch Human Settlement Strategy commissioned by Stellenbosch Municipality and compiled by Paul Henlder and Mark Swilling.

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    1633
    Development Planning
  • Stellenbosch Small Farmers Trust

    Bryce Anderson

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    This document, by Bryce Anderson who is based in the Sustainability Institute, summarizes 8 years of learning with respect to the land reform project on municipal land near to Lynedoch. The Sustainability Institute has played various roles in this pioneering project over the years.

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    1685
    Food Systems
  • Stellenbosch Spatial Development Framework Part 1

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    This is part 1 of the Stellenbosch Spatial Development Framework that was drafted by a SI Proejcts team.

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    1672
  • Stellenbosch Spatial Development Framework Part 2

    SI Projects

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    This is Part 2 of the Stellenbosch Spatial Development Framework that was drafted by a SI Projects team.

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    1662
    Development Planning