University of Pretoria
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Analysis of qualitative data on green infrastructure (GI) guideline uptake in metros

posted on 2024-04-15, 12:44 authored by Tania du PlessisTania du Plessis

Focusing on the City of Tshwane, South Africa, a literature review, policy document review and semi-structured interviews were conducted to (1) identify the challenges faced by city officials and opportunities that exist to improve the decision-making process at the site level stage with the application of GI and (2) identify and collate GI planning principles for the City of Tshwane. The literature review focused mainly on SSA, and papers focused on GI guidelines. The researcher considered the alignment of the GI guidelines identified in the literature with a policy document review of spatial and environmental development principles in South African national, provincial and local spatial policy documents. In parallel with the literature and policy review process, 16 semi-structured interviews with 18 interviewees involved in GI planning at the City of Tshwane were conducted. The researcher further followed a co-development process through a participatory workshop with 23 participants, including a pre-workshop online survey and five post-workshop feedback and clarification discussions. Participants included city officials, property developers and built-environment practitioners, all with many years of experience in the land development application process in the city.

The findings illustrate that city officials face many complex challenges with the application of GI, such as poor intergovernmental collaboration; conflicting policies, regulations and frameworks; scarce resources; urbanisation resulting in land invasions due to a housing shortage; and a lack of appreciation of the value and benefits that GI can provide. The findings further illustrate that local policy documents have many national, provincial and city planning principles but are not carried through to the site development planning stage. Many opportunities were identified for improved GI planning, such as: streamlining the land development application process; incentivising developers; enabling cross-sectoral partnerships to open up new resource pools to fund GI applications; and promoting the long-term benefits of GI. Based on the findings, 20 planning principles are proposed for the city's site development planning phase that overlaps with 18 principles in the literature but emphasises aspects of access, safety, quality and cross-sectoral partnerships to co-develop and co-manage green space, which are unique requirements in an SSA context. The study demonstrates the value of local cross-sectoral input in GI planning co-development to ascertain the contextual application of research outcomes.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (DANIDA Fellowship 2021-2023), Grant number: 20-M09AU




Sustainable Development Goals

  • 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities