Volume: Volume 21 - 2017
Article type: Refereed article
Author/s: Du Plessis, Anel
This article notionally questions the readiness of existing South African law and policy for the country's pursuit of 'sustainable cities' as per Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The expectations created by SDG 11 are discussed and subsequently compared with the scope and focus of current law and policy in South Africa. In three parts, the article critically explores (a) the general compatibility of existing law and policy with the sustainable city objective in SDG 11; (b) areas emphasized in SDG 11 that are underplayed or overstated in the existing law and policy framework; and (c) how best to charter some of the expected challenges in meeting the SDGs' 2030 deadline. The article concludes that in South Africa, as elsewhere, a sub-national scale of intervention by co-global governors (our cities) is necessary - intervention that requires spatially targeted planning (eg at city level) as well as various other actions across the three spheres of government. South African cities are fortunate to have, for the most part, an enabling law and policy framework, but this framework may not yet adequately provide for tangible, concrete and measurable national targets for sustainable urbanism.
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