Considering integrated human settlements from a sustainable development perspective
Van Der Walt, I.
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The current housing complexities in South Africa refer primarily to the housing backlog and how to provide adequate housing without compromising on quality and affordability. A shift in housing provision has taken place as part of prioritising the concept of integrated human settlements within planning approaches, moving away from isolated, monotone housing developments towards the development of sustainable integrated communities. This study considered integrated human settlement planning from a sustainable development perspective and reflected on the three sustainable development spheres; economic integration, social dynamics and environmental planning to identify the drivers within each sphere relating to sustainable housing developments. The aim of this study was to consider integrated human settlements and current planning approaches, and how such could be enhanced by the sustainable development drivers to provide a sustainable housing solution for the South African context. The research comprised of a thematic literature investigation, a reflection on the role of government policy and programmes in support of sustainable development and integrated human settlements in South Africa and an empirical investigation that followed an inductive qualitative ethnographical research design to consider case studies of integrated housing developments as well as perspectives of purposefully selected professionals. The result of the research was interpreted to draw conclusions with regards to sustainable development drivers and the interface with current planning approaches. The study ultimately proposed a sustainable integration checklist to guide the planning of sustainable integrated human settlements as a planning solution to the current complexities associated with housing in South Africa.