Research and Publications

Research & Publications

  • Strategic Development Framework for creating a sustainable business and residential neighbourhood in a disused cement factory in Phillipi, Cape Town

    Sustainability Institute et al

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    This Strategic Development Framework (SDF) is a proposal for recycling the ruined grounds and derelict buildings of an abandoned cement factory in Philippi, Cape Town into a Sustainable Business and Residential Neighbourhood (SBRN). The 12ha property, known locally as ‘the old cement factory’, is owned by The Business Place Philippi (BPP), a Section 21 company established by two large companies and two NGOs: Investec Bank, British American Tobacco (BAT), the Sustainability Institute, and Abalimi.

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    3969
    Development Planning
  • Structural Adjustment in Zambia

    Peter Sinkamba

    Document type: Student Research

    Structural Adjustment Lending and National Development: Which Development? - A Review of the IMF and World Bank Macro-Economic Regime and and their Poverty Reduction Strategies in Zambia. Peter Sinkamba whois a well known sustainable development practitioner in the Zambia NGO sector. This is his assignment for Applied Economics.

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    1977
    Development Planning
  • Sustainability Institute, Grabouw Case Study

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    Sustainability Institute, Grabouw Case Study - summary narrative for teaching purposes compiled by the Sustainability Institute based on various mainly unpublished documents.

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    1658
    Sustainable Cities
  • Sustainability science for meeting Africa’s challenges

    Alexandros Gasparatos, Kazuhiko Takeuchi, Thomas Elmqvist, Kensuke Fukushi1, Masafumi Nagao, Frans Swanepoel, Mark Swilling, Douglas Trotter, Harro von Blottnitz

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    To tackle effectively the interconnected challenges that Africa currently experiences, there is a strong need to develop transdisciplinary and solution-oriented research approaches. This Special Feature will collect contributions from leading scholars that apply sustainability science concepts and principles at the African context.

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    5198
    Sustainable Cities
  • Sustainable Agriculture in Developing Countries

    Thandeka Mbabama

    Document type: Student Research

    The application of knowledge other than chemicals is the key to increasing food output on small farms in developing countries. Mixed cropping has a proven success as a strategy that can both product the food that is needed immediately and is sustainable. Thandeka Mbabama is a senior manager in the Land Bank, South Africa. This is her assignment for the Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture module.

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    1975
    Food Systems
  • Sustainable Cities & the Vancouver Food System

    Leonie Fremgen

    Document type: Student Research

    Sustainable Cities assignment. Includes a case study of Vancouver's sustainable food system.

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    1954
  • Sustainable Cities and the case of Surat, India

    Etai Even-Zahav

    Document type: Student Research

    Sustainable Cities assingment. It includes a case study of the city of Surat, India.

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    1955
    Sustainable Cities
  • Sustainable Development 2006

    Lannette Chiti

    Document type: Student Research

    In this essay submitted for the Sustainable Development Module of the Mphil programme in 2006, Lannette Chite (Zambia) uses a sustainability perspective to analyse the way her urban domestic household in Zambia operates, and the (dis-)connections between this and the traditional rural households where the rest of her extended family has lived.

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    1970
    Development Planning
  • Sustainable Development, Local Economic Development and Industrial Policy

    Kate Rivett-Carnac

    Document type: Student Research

    Local Economic Development, Industrial Policy and Sustainable Development in South Africa: A Critical Reflection on Three New Policy Frameworks. Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the Mphil in Sustainable Development Planning and Management, January 2008. This thesis examines three policy frameworks adopted by the South African Government, namely policies on Local Economic Development, Industrial Policy and Sustainable Development. The researcher's aim is to analyse the links, overlaps and contradictions in order to develop proposals for alignment in ways that would reinforce the sustainable development approach.

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    1872
  • Sustainable Infrastructure Planning

    Mark Swilling

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    Published in the accredited journal Environment and Urbanisation, this article uses Cape Town to demonstrate that it will not be possible to finance pro-poor development if scarce financial resources are used to subsidized unsustainable infrastructure provision to meet the needs of middle and upper classes.

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    1682
    Development Planning
  • Sustainable, Low-Carbon Cities in the 21st Century - Making it Happen

    Camaren Peter & Mark Swilling

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    This paper was commissioned by UNEP as a position paper for the Summit for the Urban Environment Accords, Gwangju, South Korea, 39-13 October, 2009. Currently, over half of the world’s population resides in cities. This urbanization trend is expected to continue and more than 80 per cent of humanity is expected to live cities by 2050. The conditions for city dwellers depend not only on how urbanization is planned and managed but also how cities source, process, and use resources. The choices cities make have far reaching implications on the level of sustainability that is possible in the future. This report contributes to the discourse of global environmental well-being by focusing on sustainability and resource efficiency. It is especially useful since it highlights genuine opportunities for city leaders and supports its arguments through a set of inspirational case studies of cities that have successfully improved their transition to sustainability.

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    1649
  • Systematic review of the literature on ‘informal economy’ and ‘food security’ (2016)

    Etai Even-Zahav and Candice Kelly

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    This is a Working Paper published by PLAAS at the University of the Western Cape in 2016. Tai was commissioned to produce this paper based on his MPhil thesis by the Centre of Excellence on Food Security.

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    5301
    Food Systems
  • Systems Approach to Technology Sustainability Assessment

    Josephine Musango, Alan Brent, Bamikole Amigun, Leon Pretorius, Hans Müller

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    Tutorial on the application of systems approach to technology sustainability assessment (SATSA): the case of biodiesel production development. Paper presented at the 19th International Sustainable Development Research Conference, Spier 1-3 July 2013, co-hosted by the SI. (Josephine Musango and Alan Brent are associated with the TsamaHub, the SI's research partner.)

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    1630
    Education & Learning
  • The Ecological Footprint of Cape Town

    Barry Gasson

    Document type: Student Research

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    1599
  • The New Urbanism and New Ruralism

    Michael Louw

    Document type: Student Research

    This study focuses mainly on the spatial planning aspects of rural development and it explores the possibilities of adapting strategies from the New Urbanism and New Ruralism movements, together with a number of tools typically associated with sustainable rural development, for use in the South African context. Through the study of available literature on the subject, personal interviews and practical experience, a range of strategies have been investigated and a selected number have been identified that may be applicable to the local context. A number of case studies are assessed, which include a new model being implemented at Crossways Farm Village in the Eastern Cape which combines elements from the above€ mentioned approaches. From some of the results achieved to date it seems that the implementation of these particular spatial planning models, combined with models like the biosphere concept that focuses on biodiversity, together with a range of additional socioeconomic strategies, may contribute to the promotion of sustainable rural development in South Africa. It is hoped that this study shows the potential and challenges of these spatial planning models as a tool for sustainable rural development, and that it may lead to further study on the subject.

    1912
    Development Planning
  • The Sustainable Human Settlements Calculator

    Jerome Lengbeek & Mark Swilling

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    Talk presented by Jerome Lengbeek and Mark Swilling to the Green Buildings parallel session at the Green Economy Summit on 19 May 2010. This talk summarizes the outcome of a 3 year research project to build a cost effectiveness analysis of conventional low-cost housing compared with sustainable low-cost housing options.

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    1772
    Sustainable Cities
  • Towards urban infrastructure sustainability

    Wendy Crane, Lisa Thompson-Smeddle, Martin De Wit , Mark Swilling

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    Published in book: Counter Currents. Experiments in Sustainability in the Cape Town Region, Chapter: 5, Publisher: Jacana Media, Editors: Edgar Pieterse, pp.80-89.

    This chapter will argue that the challenge of expanding EWWS services into poorer areas cannot be faced without considering the idea of sustainable resource use. Increasingly, there are calls for this kind of thinking, as City and provincial policy begin to recognise that traditional technologies and systems are inefficient and ecologically unsustainable. Sustainable resource use entails a process that improves the quality of life by decoupling economic growth from the rate of increase in natural resource consumption. More efficient use of existing resources is one way to achieve this – doing more with less; and another is to find alternatives to nonrenewable resource inputs and ecologically degrading waste outputs. Human needs continue to expand, while our ecosystems are finite and being seriously eroded. To eradicate poverty, growing consumption must be decoupled from rising levels of natural resource use. Significant opportunities exist to move in this direction citywide by employing new technologies and systems.

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    5212
    Sustainable Cities
  • Untamed Urbanisms: Enacting productive disruptions

    Edited by Adriana Allen, Andrea Lampis and Mark Swilling

    Document type: Faculty Research & Publications

    Towards sustainable urban infrastructures for the urban anthropocene.

    One of the major challenges of urban development has been reconciling the way cities develop with the mounting evidence of resource depletion and the negative environmental impacts of predominantly urban-based modes of production and consumption. The book aims to re-politicize the relationship between urban development, sustainability and justice, and to explore the tensions emerging under real circumstances, as well as their potential for transformative change. For some, cities are the root of all that is unsustainable, while for others cities provide unique opportunities for sustainability-oriented innovations that address equity and ecological challenges. This book is rooted in the latter category, but recognizes that if cities continue to evolve along current trajectories they will be where the large bulk of the most unsustainable and inequitable human activities are concentrated. Drawing on a range of case studies from both the global South and global North, this book is unique in its aim to develop an integrated socialecological perspective on the challenge of sustainable urban development. Through the interdisciplinary and original research of a new generation of urban researchers across the global South and global North, this book addresses old debates in new ways and raises new questions about sustainable urban development that will be of interest to researchers, city managers and a wide range of policy actors in government, civil society and the private sector.

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    5205
  • Urban Patterns for a Green Economy: Clustering for Competitiveness

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    Guidebook on Clustering for Competitiveness prepared for UN Habitat's Urban Patterns for a Green Economy series. Blake Robinson was lead author of the SI Projects team.

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    1614
  • Urban Patterns for a Green Economy: Leveraging Density

    Blake Robinson, Elzette Henshilwood and Matthew Cullinan

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    This guide shows how the compact city concept and planned (versus unplanned) urban extension can support sustainable urban patterns that benefit the functioning of developed as well as developing world cities.

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    5119
  • Urban Patterns for Green Economy: Optimizing Infrastructure

    Blake Robinson

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    Guidebook on Optimizing Infrastructure prepared for UN Habitat's Urban Patterns for a Green Economy series. Blake Robinson was lead author of the SI Projects team.

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    1612
  • Urban Patterns for Green Economy: Working With Nature

    Blake Robinson

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    Guidebook on Working With Nature prepared for UN Habitat's Urban Patterns for a Green Economy series. Blake Robinson was lead author of the SI Projects team.

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    1613
    Sustainable Cities
  • Urban Patterns for the Green Economy: Levering Density

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    Guidebook on Leveraging Density prepared for UN Habitat's Urban Patterns for a Green Economy series. Blake Robinson was lead author of the SI Projects team.

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    1615
  • Urban Patterns: Clustering for Competitiveness

    Blake Robinson and Sara Grobbelaar

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    Taking a broader perspective, this guide looks at city regions and how they can be more optimally planned to achieve economic objectives in a manner that does not waste local resources. It looks at how competitive advantage can be achieved at a regional scale by encouraging cooperation between cities with complementary areas of specialization. It also considers how innovation for green economic development can be encouraged through the clustering of industries, and through collaborations between government, the private sector and academia.

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    5121
  • Urban Patterns: Optimizing Infrastructure

    Blake Robinson and Mark Swilling

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    Considering urban infrastructure as the link between city inhabitants and natural resources, this guide looks at how infrastructural systems can be conceived differently in order to help all city residents to conserve resources. It introduces new concepts and approaches to the provision of infrastructural services, such as energy, water and waste treatment, and demonstrates how infrastructure investments can act as catalysts for urban sustainability.

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    5122
  • Urban Patterns: Working with Nature

    Blake Robinson, Gill Cullinan and Matthew Cullinan

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    With functioning ecosystems forming the foundation for social and economic activity, this guide looks at how built environments can be planned to operate in  collaboration with nature. It looks at how to plan cities and regions for ecosystem health, focusing on allowing sufficient space for natural systems to continue providing crucial goods and services like fresh water, food, fuel and waste amelioration.

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    5120
  • Waste Recycling in Cape Town

    Sally-Anne Engledow

    Document type: Student Research

    Sally-Anne Engledow is a waste recycling consultant in Cape Town. This is a copy of her Masters Thesis for UCT entitled The Strategic Assessment of a Curbside Recycling Initiative in Cape Town as a Tool for Integrated Waste Management. Mark Swilling was the External Examiner. This research will be used by an SI research team to develop future sustainable infrastructure options for Cape Town.

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    1562
    Resource Efficiencies
  • Western Cape Sustainable Human Settlement Strategy

    Document type: SI Research & Publications

    Western Cape Sustainable Human Settlement Strategy - official policy framework of the Western Cape Provincial Government, compiled by a team coordinated by the Sustainability Institute;

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    1699
    Development Planning