Cape Town — Urban Planning under Apartheid

Under Apartheid, the urban landscape of Cape Town was developed to facilitate social control and racial segregation. In order to do so, the nationalist party passed the Group Areas Act of 1950, which separated the city into racially homogenous localities that were self-contained and financially independent. Under this stringent law, planners were required to strictly enforce the boundaries of these neighborhoods to ensure that the zoning patterns of the city stayed intact. To inhibit black urbanization and further marginalize the black community, the homogenous localities was established such that the white residential areas were closer to the industrial center of the city. Complementing this urban plan were laws that prohibited blacks from freely entering the industrial areas and from being recognized as urban residents. Moreover, the urban center was administered by white-elected councils, which led to an unfair allocation of resources throughout the city.

Turok, Ivan. “Urban Planning in the Transition from Apartheid, Part 1: the Legacy of Social Control.” Town Planning Review, vol. 65, no. 3, 1994, p. 243., doi:10.3828/tpr.65.3.j03p90k7870q80g4.

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