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Moving away from Single Residential zoning

In the US, there is a growing movement to shift away from Single Residential zoning, citing its use as a tool of segregation, both racial and based on income.

In contrast, the German approach in the Kleinsiedlungsgebiete zone permits without application “single- and two- family homes, farms, small shops, restaurants, crafts, and nondisturbing industry.” /

Noting that SA uses a similar approach in our zoning/land use schemes, what are the ways we should be thinking about changing Single Residential zoning in South Africa? Does the German approach offer the beginnings of an alternative model for South Africa?

FS Nxele has reacted to this post.
FS Nxele

It is important to consider the unique social, cultural, and historical context of South Africa when thinking about changing its land use and zoning policies. The German approach of Kleinsiedlungsgebiete, while offering some potential benefits, may not be directly applicable to the South African context.

In South Africa, there is a history of apartheid-era segregation policies that have led to continued racial and economic inequality, and addressing these issues must be a central part of any land use and zoning policy changes. Additionally, the lack of affordable housing in South Africa, particularly in urban areas, is a major concern that must be addressed through land use policies.

One approach that could be considered in South Africa is to allow for a mix of different types of housing, including affordable housing, in single residential zones. This could help to increase the diversity of income levels and reduce the concentration of poverty in certain areas. Another option could be to allow for small businesses and other community services in single residential zones, which could help to create more walkable, liveable neighbourhoods.

It is important to have an open, transparent, and inclusive process when considering changes to land use and zoning policies in South Africa, involving all stakeholders, town and regional planners, including local communities, government agencies, and civil society organizations. Additionally, any changes should be informed by robust data and research, and should prioritize the needs of those who have been marginalized and disadvantaged in the past.

MB Mabalane and VB Sifunda have reacted to this post.
MB MabalaneVB Sifunda


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