CONSIDERING PLANNING APPROACHES IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH AND LEARNING FROM CO-PRODUCTION IN SOUTH AFRICA’S INFORMAL BACKYARD RENTAL SECTOR
Free (open access)
241 - 252
LOUIS G. LATEGAN, ELIZELLE J. CILLIERS
The global South has traditionally been regarded as oppressed and subjugated, grappling to reach western ideals on the appropriate, desirable and modern. However, framing the developing world as such, fails to recognise that western norms may be neither feasible nor appropriate in these regions and discounts the value of alternative, mostly informal, approaches to provide outcomes more suited to the global South status quo. This paper aims to showcase how western standards and development mechanisms are still propagated in the developing world and how local populations adapt to the outcomes of such approaches to suit their needs and circumstances, in the process challenging western norms and shaping the city from below. The paper employs a qualitative research methodology based on a literature review of core concepts, including: the right to the city, spatial justice, co-production, modernism and neoliberalism; before turning to a case study of South Africa and its informal backyard rental sector to explore research objectives. The subsequent discussion frames the informal backyard rental sector as an example of the interface between the formal and informal; the state and civil society; and the global North and global South. Accordingly, presenting informal backyard rentals as a manifestation of co-production that provides fertile ground to rethink western ideals and reframe urban planning theory, policy-making and practice towards a more inclusive understanding based on lived experience. The paper concludes that such reconsidered approaches may hold potential for more sustainable and just settlements in South Africa and rest of the global South, but also for the cities of the global North, where issues like informality are increasingly imbedded in the urban landscape.
global South, co-production, formal-informal dichotomy, informal backyard rentals, South Africa