WIT Press


Determining The Vitality Of Urban Centres

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/SW100021

Volume

142

Pages

11

Page Range

15 - 25

Published

2010

Size

3,254 kb

Author(s)

J. E. Drewes & M. van Aswegen

Abstract

This paper will attempt to provide an encompassing Index of Vitality for urban centres. The Vitality Index’s© goal is to enable measurement of the general economic, social, physical, environmental, institutional and spatial performance of towns within a regional framework, ultimately reflecting the spatial importance of the urban centre. Towns have been measured in terms of numerous indicators, mostly in connection with social and economic conditions, over an extended period of time. The lack of suitable spatial indicators is identified as a significant shortcoming in the measurement of urban centres. This paper proposes the utilisation of a comprehensive index to measure the importance of an urban centre within a specific region. The Vitality Index© is consequently tested in a study area situated in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa. This study contributes in a number of ways to the measurement of urban centres, i.e. the shortcomings that are identified for the urban centres can be addressed by goal-specific policy initiatives, comprising a set of objectives and strategies to correct imbalances. The Vitality Index© also provides a basis for guiding national and regional growth policies, in the identification of urban centres with sustainable growth potential and vitality. Keywords: sustainability indicators, measuring urban centres, importance of urban centres, sustainable housing, spatial planning; policy, South Africa. 1 Introduction Various indicators have been designed and are recognised to provide a quantitative evaluation of an urban centre. Included are indicators describing economic growth, accessibility, sustainability, quality of life and environmental quality. In Developing Countries, basic indicators like access to engineering services, employment levels and availability of public transport form the main

Keywords

sustainability indicators, measuring urban centres, importance of urban centres, sustainable housing, spatial planning; policy, South Africa