WIT Press

Planning For Sustainable Livelihoods In Urban Transitional Zones By Incorporating Traditional Community Concepts


Free (open access)





Page Range

81 - 92




347 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


M. Gibbens, C. B. Schoeman


The focus of this paper is to outline a sustainable livelihood development paradigm which could assist in addressing the challenges currently faced by the communities in urban transitional areas of South Africa, with specific attention to the contribution that the traditional community environment can make. The reasoning behind the development of such a paradigm is to enrich the sustainable development discourse by exploring place identities, the resilience of community tradition and cultural precepts, particularly in the developing world. This should assist in providing a viable self-reliance livelihood option (especially in urban transitional zones) for communities to survive and thrive in the face of the pressures of urban growth, the deteriorating quality of life and the homogenisation of urban form and design in the developing world. The key concepts, from which this paradigm is developed, are collaborative leadership, community-based systems, the importance of land (environment), economy of affection and agriculture. These concepts are crucial in the current approach to planning, where the relevance of the traditional community environment (predominantly as it applies in Africa) supports the contention that implementation of community-based planning should evolve beyond planning for a community to planning by a community for itself. The proposed outcome of this process is a sustainable livelihood paradigm incorporating traditional community concepts, which supports self-reliant development.


urban transition zones, sustainable development, collaborative leadership, community-based systems, the importance of land (environment), economy of affection, agriculture, self-reliance development