Land use considerations in urban environmental management

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Diversity and Inclusiveness Understand demographics of society and diversity and inclusiveness considerations including, but not limited to Aboriginal people. Understand practices to effectively comply with legal aspects and benefit from approaches to building on diversity and difference. Able to develop plans that build on diversity and inclusiveness considerations.

Functional Integration of Knowledge Understand basic elements and interactions between the following functional areas and other areas that have a relationship to planning: transportation; facilities; economics; social; urban design; legal; resources; environment; recreation; housing; infrastructure; land use; development control; etc. It emphasizes the inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation on sustainable land management: "As management is the human activity meaning the action of people working together in the aim to accomplish desired goals, land use management is a process of managing use and development of land, in which spatial, sector-oriented and temporary aspects of urban policy are coordinated.

Resources of land are used for different purposes, which may produce conflicts and competitions, and land use management has to see those purposes in an integrated way. Therefore, land management covers the debate about norms and visions driving the policy-making, sector-based planning both in the strategic and more operative time spans, spatial integration of sectoral issues, decision-making, budgeting, implementation of plans and decisions and the monitoring of results and evaluation of impacts. Reference Terms. SLM is necessary to meet the requirements of a growing population.

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Related Stories. The research has revealed that gardens and A new study demonstrates the positive ecological impacts of a community-based wildlife The study Even if Europe's forests are managed in such a way that their carbon sequestration The national Department of Land Affairs thus exercises authority over the land reform programme, the Deeds Registry, the office of the Surveyor General, the National Spatial Information Framework and the administration of land held in trust by the Minister.

An area of the Minister's responsibility for land that has been somewhat neglected since has been that of planning for and regulating the use and development of land. This gap was acknowledged in with the appointment of the Development and Planning Commission by the Minister of Land Affairs, in conjunction with the Minister of Housing, and in consultation with the Minister for Constitutional Development.

Extensive consultation and comment followed the publication of the Green Paper. A series of workshops was held throughout the country, targeting officials in all three spheres of government as well as the planning profession. Additional workshops were convened by the Department of Land Affairs for interested groups on request. Over one hundred written submissions were made. This White Paper is the result of considerable work within the Ministry, taking into account both the comments submitted on the Green Paper as well as intervening new legislation, notably the Municipal Systems Act.

A key piece of work produced by the Commission was a study of the planning laws in place in each province, including laws inherited from pre provinces and homelands as well as those designed purely for application in black urban areas. This revealed an extraordinarily complex and inefficient legal framework, with planning officials in all spheres of government having to deal with numerous different systems within the jurisdiction of each province, and indeed within most municipalities.

The difficulty of dealing with this legal inheritance compounds the already difficult task of planning for sustainable, integrated and equitable land use and development in South Africa. The need to rationalise this situation, through overarching national legislation, is an important rationale for this White Paper process. The Minister of Land Affairs' lead role in spatial planning, land use management and land development will allow her to prescribe the content of planning requirements that other spheres of government, especially local government, will have to comply with.

The Minister is thus charged with the responsibility to take all decisions concerning land use in the country. This authority is however best exercised at the local scale. Accordingly this White Paper proposes extensive delegation of that power, primarily to municipalities, but also to provincial tribunals in specified circumstances. The process of policy development and the drafting and implementation of new laws that commenced after caused considerable confusion around the terminology used and the focus of different legal frameworks for planning.

One the one end of the spectrum the term is used to describe government's locational decisions - by all spheres - on where public investment should be made. On the other it is used as a catch-all phrase to describe local land-use planning and the administration of zoning and other regulatory mechanisms. This has been coupled with a sense that these terms smack of apartheid era approaches to planning. This White Paper aims to clarify this area of critical importance both to effective local governance and the management of land throughout the country.

It is proposed that the term spatial planning be used sparingly, to describe a high level planning process that is inherently integrative and strategic, that takes into account a wide range of factors and concerns and addresses the uniquely spatial aspects of those concerns. It cannot continue to be used loosely as a term that means different things to different people in different contexts. Spatial planning is implemented and realized in a number of different ways.

These include: capital expenditure programmes; the way in which different social and economic programmes are implemented; as well as the management and regulation of land-use change and land development. No one department or sphere of government can effectively take responsibility for this high-level governance function.

Each national department, provincial government, and municipality must take responsibility for spatial planning within their sectoral and or jurisdictional areas. Every delivery function of government has spatial implications.

It is up to the appropriate sphere or department to take these into account when formulating policy, law and programmes. The Department of Land Affairs' specific contribution towards the activity of spatial planning will be the regulation of land use planning and development. In South Africa, land is a highly contested resource.

On one hand, land ownership is skewed in favour of a racial minority, while on the other there is need to strike a balance between ownership and benefits from the use of land.

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Equally important is to maximize the potential of the scarce but high quality agricultural land and to ensure that the correct land is set aside for tourism and other natural resources, of which the country is heavily dependent. Because all development initiatives ultimately need to take place on land, the location and use of that land is a crucial determinant of the extent to which the initiatives address the spatial concerns.

The intended outcome of the White paper is a new national law, the land use bill. The ultimate goal is a legislative and policy framework that enables government, and especially local government, to formulate policies, plans and strategies for land-use and land development that address, confront and resolve the spatial, economic, social and environmental problems of the country. Since there have been very many laws and policies dealing with the area of planning.

These have covered many sectors and all three spheres of government. The theme that has run through all of these initiatives is integration.

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It has been widely and correctly acknowledged that integration must happen both in the way that planning is done as well as reflected in the outcomes of the planning process. That is, there must be integration between the various planning processes and institutions of different spheres and sectors and there must be integration of the distorted and segregated spatial fabric inherited from colonialism and apartheid.

In view of the above this White Paper and the forthcoming land use bill seeks to further clarify and expand on concepts falling within the mandate of the Minister of Land Affairs, some of which are already contained in the Municipal Systems Act. It is hoped that this White Paper, the forthcoming land use bill and the Municipal Systems Act together will form a comprehensive framework for local authorities embarking on integrative development planning.

It will also provide the framework necessary for the land development activities of all sectors and spheres of government and the private sector to be properly planned, taking into account the overarching development needs of society. Since colonialism shaped our human settlements along racial and class lines, excluding large sections of the population from the economic, social and environmental benefits of vibrant, integrated, sustainable urban and rural development. These patterns sowed the seeds for the grand apartheid that emerged in the second half of the twentieth century.

Grand apartheid was essentially a spatial, even geographic, partition attempt, with dire disintegrative spatial consequences. The approach was comprehensive in nature, striving to predetermine the use of all land parcels in order to achieve the desired end state of separate development. This desired end state became an inflexible representation of the future which necessitated complete and absolute control on the part of planning authorities. The effects of this planning approach include displaced urbanisation and a settlement pattern that is grotesquely distorted, fragmented, unequal, incoherent and inefficient.

This settlement pattern generates enormous movement across vast areas which is both time consuming and costly thereby entrenching a system of unequal access to economic and social resources. Features of development patterns today are:. The planning system created to address and support minority interests also led to the evolution of a highly complex, multiple and confusing legal environment for planning.

The legal complexity is further aggravated by the fact that the major tools of management and control e. These diverse laws, ordinances etc. This led to a wide range of terms being used loosely and interchangeably e. The main land-use planning and management problems currently experienced by the different spheres of government include:. This means that different procedures have to be followed by applicants, different standards have to be met and different opportunities are available to members of the public affected by proposed developments.

It also greatly increases the administrative burden on under-capacitated municipalities and contributes to the lengthy time periods it takes to get applications processed. Disjuncture between inherited schemes and newly drawn up plans: While most municipalities have begun, and many have completed, the compilation of IDPs 6 and LDOs 7 these post-apartheid plans remain hamstrung by the schemes currently in place. These schemes often reflect land use patterns that are very different from those envisaged in the new plans.

Because of the greater detail of the schemes, as well as the fact that they consist of concrete rights to use and develop land in particular ways, they remain relatively unaffected by the new plans. The new plans thus have had only a weak impact on inherited spatial patterns. Lengthy approval times: Especially in the larger cities the backlogs of applications waiting to be considered by municipal authorities are substantial. This has negative economic impacts on the municipalities.

Too much control, not enough facilitation: The emphasis in local government has been on controlling land development as opposed to facilitating it. This has become starkly evident in the era of IDPs, where municipalities have anticipated often ambitious development projects in their plans but have not had the means to ensure that they actually are implemented. This has led to a sense of dissatisfaction with planning, linked to an unrealistic notion that simply because something is included in a plan it will necessarily happen.

Increasingly however there is an awareness that one cannot get something to happen when the only tools at your disposal, in this case zoning schemes, are effectively instruments of control, designed to restrict land development rather than promote it. Weak enforcement: Those controls that are in place - to prevent illegal, unsafe, environmentally unsound land development - are only rarely enforced. This is the result of two factors.

Firstly, many of the controls that are unenforced are in fact inappropriate, particularly insofar as they affect the poor. Secondly, there is a general lack of law enforcement capacity in local government. These two factors combine to create a sense of impossibility: the problem is so big and the resources so small that the problem simply cannot be tackled. Inappropriate historical rights: In many urban areas landowners hold use and development rights granted under inherited planning legislation, some dating as far back as the s. In many cases these rights can be ignored - and realized - by the rights-holders at their leisure.

In other cases however they represent a significant obstacle to the reconstruction and integration of towns and cities. Municipalities are afraid to plan in ways that might impact on these rights, out of a fear that they will be liable to pay compensation. This problem is aggravated by the sense that development rights, once granted, survive indefinitely, until such time as the landowner elects to realize them.

Overlap between planning permission requirements and environmental impact requirements: Most types of land development require a number of different permissions from different authorities. The two in which there is the most overlap are the rezoning permission and the consent in terms of the Environmental Impact Assessment requirements of the Environment Conservation Act. This overlap leads to a situation in which an applicant has to apply to two separate authorities for permission to use or develop land.

In practice many of the requirements of the two processes are very similar and this can lead to an expensive duplication of efforts. Also, it can result in each authority giving a different decision, leading to institutional conflict and a bewildered public. The DFA was promulgated as an interim measure to bridge the gap between the old apartheid era planning laws and a new planning system reflecting the needs and priorities of the democratic South Africa.

The Act, however, did not wipe the slate clean with the result that the national and provincial laws relating to planning promulgated before are still in existence. The DFA thus operates parallel to the existing laws, until such time as they are replaced, as proposed by this White Paper. The key features of the DFA are:.

The principles and norms collectively form a vision for land use and planning in the country. They constitute a single point of reference, and an overarching coherent set of policy guides to direct and steer land development, planning and decision-making in all spheres of government including other public agencies involved in land use so that outcomes thereof are consistent with the national objectives.

The principles and norms are to promote the normative based spatial planning, land use management and land development system first introduced by the DFA. Under the DFA model the general principles and norms contained in that Act had to apply to all decisions taken in terms of a host of different laws. With the intention of this White Paper being to rationalise all these laws into one uniform legal system for the planning and management of land use and development the scope of the principles and norms becomes inevitably narrower.

The objective of the principles and norms is to influence directly the substantive outcomes of planning decisions, whether they relate to spatial development frameworks or decisions on land use change or development applications. The overall aim of the principles and norms is to achieve planning outcomes that:. Both the principles and norms are focused on and correlated to the field of spatial planning, land use management and land development, but, as is the case with all principles and norms, need further actualisation in specific, concrete contexts. Thus, in the practical implementation of the principles spatial planning, land use management and land development will be guided by the principles and norms.

The normative approach proposed in this White Paper and the forthcoming Bill, is presented in the form of principles and norms. The principles are conceived of as first principles in the sense of general or fundamental values of a democratic and open society, on which the norms are based or from which the norms are derived. The norms emanating from the principles are understood as principles of right action, as authoritative rules or standards asserting or denying that something has to be done or has value.

Both the principles and norms are focused on and correlated to the field of spatial planning and land use, but, as is the case with all principles and norms, need further actualization in specific, concrete contexts. The purpose of a normative approach is to ensure wise land use. Wise land use is inspired by humane considerations regarding the responsibility society and the state has to preserve the earth's natural assets for present and future generations in a sustainable and economic way. Wise land use is premised on the consideration that by rational planning of all uses of land in an integrated manner, it is possible to link social and economic development with environmental protection and enhancement, making the most efficient trade-offs, and minimizing conflicts.

Such an integrated approach is based on relating sectoral and different spheres of government's planning and management activities to the capabilities and limitations of landscapes to support various land uses. The principles and norms do not prescribe black and white, yes-or-no outcomes, but serve to ensure that decisions are made with reference to a uniform and coherent set of desired policy outcomes.

It is important, however, to emphasize that the interpretation and application of the principles and norms is context specific as conditions upon which principles and norms have to be applied are not uniform throughout the country. The constitution requires that whenever a decision is made by any sphere of government it must be based on reasons given by the decision making authority. It is here that the principles and norms become critically important.

Decisions concerning land use and development will have to be explicitly related to the extent to which they meet the objectives set out in the principles and norms. Where there might be a potential conflict between more than one principle it is up to the decision maker to decide which one to favour. That decision however has to be one that is clearly argued and reasoned, identifying why it is that the particular context requires the favouring of one principle over the other. In the case of the preparation of a spatial development framework it will be compulsory to include a section explaining how each of the principles and norms is accommodated in the plan.

This explanation will also have to deal with any possible conflicts between principles and norms, in the local context, and establish which of the principles and norms is favoured by the municipality. The Minister of Land Affairs will be empowered in the new law to issue directives on the implementation and interpretation of the principles from time to time.

These will allow the Minister to guide the way in which the law is used in practice and to take into account the demands of both the public and private sectors. The principle of sustainability requires the sustainable management and use of the resources making up the natural and built environment. Land use and development decisions must promote a harmonious relationship between the built and the natural environment while ensuring that land development is sustainable over in longer term period. The principle demands a holistic approach to land development in order to minimise the long-term negative impacts of current land use or development decisions.

The long-term adequacy or availability of physical, social and economic resources to support or carry development should be thoroughly investigated. The life cycle costs of land development and its likely side effects on the environment, community, and the economy need to be understood and taken into account to sustain its benefits, while minimising or mitigating any likely negative impacts. In the past the planning and management of land use has been characterised by extreme inequality.

Not only are principles and norms required to ensure equity in the way that decisions are taken in the future but also that they address the inequitable legacy inherited from decades of planning in the interests of a racial minority. The spatial planning, land use management and land development norms based on this principle are:. The principle of equality requires that everyone affected by spatial planning, land use management and land development actions or decisions must enjoy equal protection and benefits, and no unfair discrimination should be allowed.

Not only are principles required to ensure equity in the way that decisions are taken in the future but also that they address the inequitable legacy inherited from decades of planning in the interests of a racial minority. The principle of efficiency requires that the desired result of land use must be produced with the minimum expenditure of resources. This principle aims to achieve efficiency in institutional arrangements and operations, adopted procedures, the settlement form or pattern, and the utilization of man-made or natural resources during land planning and development.

The principle of integration requires that the separate and diverse elements involved in development planning and land use should be combined and coordinated into a more complete or harmonious whole. The principle of integration reflects the need to integrate systems, policies and approaches in land use planning and development. This principle finds particular expression in two areas. Firstly it requires that the planning process is integrated, taking into account the often disparate sectoral concerns, policies and laws and their requirements, and reaching conclusions that are efficient and sustainable from a management and governance point of view.

The principle of fair and good governance requires that spatial planning, land use management and land development must be democratic, legitimate and participatory. Land use planning is a centrally important government function, directly affecting the lives of all people. It is therefore particularly important that it is characterised by fairness and transparency and that people are afforded a meaningful right to participate in decisions. When public authorities formulate new plans, they must put in place processes that actively involve citizens, interest groups, stakeholders and others.

Also, where land development projects are initiated by the private and non-governmental sectors, there must be procedures that ensure that interested parties have an opportunity to express their views or to object. In the interests of good governance it is essential that there be effective coordination between the different sectors and spheres involved in land use and development.

The greater the coordination, cooperation and transparency of the planning process within government the greater will be the prospects of members of the public being able to engage with the decision making in a constructive manner. The difficulties of operationalising the DFA principles have been well documented in the Green Paper.

Land use planning considerations

A key limitation of the DFA principles was that they attempted to achieve important outcomes through an indirect means. That is, they attempted to influence the way in which existing laws were interpreted by requiring the application of principles. This may have been too idealistic. It is clear that it must be incumbent on authorities concerned with spatial planning and land-use management to apply the principles and norms effectively. Structures, institutions and processes must be designed to ensure that the principles and norms are actualized.

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The best way to do this, taking into account the specific South African situation, is to establish land use regulators within the purview of municipal, provincial and national government to apply the principles in specific planning and land-use situations. A number of approaches to address the above issues should be implemented to ensure success of the new planning system. Chapters 3 and 4 of this White Paper discuss these approaches. A key function of the national Department of Land Affairs, in cooperation with the provincial departments responsible for planning will be the building of planning capacity in all three spheres.

This will require dedicated capacity in both national and provincial government, as well as increased cooperation between government and the planning education institutions. It is foreseen that the duty to build capacity in the municipal sphere, will especially be the duty of provincial governments, in the light of section 1 of the Constitution, Where capacity does not exist in a municipality, provincial government should be able to enter into an agreement with the municipality to set up a joint spatial planning land use management system.

Together with the SA Council for Town and Regional Planners the national Department of Land Affairs will ensure that the current curricula of all planning institutions include modules on the new approaches to decision making needed by a normative planning system. The proposals in the Planning Professions Bill enabling the development of a continuing professional development programme for the planning profession will be very helpful in this regard.

What should receive special attention in the development of the new system, is that equitable employment and affirmative educational practices should be promoted dynamically, because empowerment of previously disadvantaged groups in the relevant professions is a pre-condition of successfully addressing the unequal legacy of settlement patterns and land-use.

A critical role of the Minister of Land Affairs will be the monitoring and review of the implementation of the principles and norms. The purpose and form of a monitoring system should change over time as the system matures or as the level of understanding and appreciation of the system develops. The new system should thus start off with a primarily educative and facilitative thrust. This can evolve over time into one that is firmer in nature, should the need arise.

In order to assist the Minister with this function the DLA must provide the Minister with a two-yearly report on the implementation of the principles and norms in all three spheres of government. To assist the DLA it is proposed that each land use regulator furnish the DLA with a two-yearly synopsis of its decisions and the major factors that have influenced the outcome of those decisions.

The development of an effective database will be necessary for this system to succeed. It is proposed that the Minister will be empowered by the new legislation to intervene in the determination of land development and land use change applications by land use regulators, where she is of the opinion that the principles and norms are being flouted.

The new spatial planning, land use management and land development system is based on two important points of departure. Firstly, local government forms the most important sphere for decision making. Using the terminology created in the Municipal Systems Act however this White Paper will use instead the terms integrated development planning, or IDP, and land use management respectively, for these two concepts. The key to successful local spatial planning, land use management and land development is the establishment of an effective link between the forward planning and development control functions.

Traditionally the development control function is seen as the means for implementing forward planning. In practice though, the two functions have generally been exercised quite separately from each other. Historically local government performed development control functions, in the form of building regulations, well before it started doing any form of institutionalised forward planning. Planning requirements were generally superimposed upon existing legal frameworks for development control, having only a negligible effect on that body of rules and regulations.

This meant that planning tended to have very limited impact on actual patterns of land development. Significant resources were expended on the making of elaborate plans which had little prospect of ever being implemented, especially where their planned outcomes differed from what was permitted by the existing development control rules, such as zoning or town planning schemes. The danger of this situation repeating itself in the case of the new IDPs is acute.

A further danger is that of repeating the notion that development control is the means of implementing forward planning. The essence of development control is the power to stop particular types of land development. To implement a plan it is clearly necessary also to have mechanisms in place to encourage the desired types of land development. This makes the Municipal Systems Act terminology, land use management, that much more appropriate, as it suggests a function that is broader than merely controlling development. For the purposes of this White Paper the term land use management includes the following activities:.

The last of these five activities is different from the rest in that it requires of local government a more proactive approach to land development, one that moves well beyond that simply of a regulator or market forces.

Land use considerations in urban environmental management Land use considerations in urban environmental management
Land use considerations in urban environmental management Land use considerations in urban environmental management
Land use considerations in urban environmental management Land use considerations in urban environmental management
Land use considerations in urban environmental management Land use considerations in urban environmental management
Land use considerations in urban environmental management Land use considerations in urban environmental management
Land use considerations in urban environmental management Land use considerations in urban environmental management
Land use considerations in urban environmental management Land use considerations in urban environmental management
Land use considerations in urban environmental management Land use considerations in urban environmental management
Land use considerations in urban environmental management Land use considerations in urban environmental management

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