Ways of seeing: Conflicting rationalities in contested urban space - the N2 Gateway in the context of Langa

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Watson, Vanessa en_ZA
dc.contributor.author De Satgé, Richard en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2015-01-23T10:05:57Z
dc.date.available 2015-01-23T10:05:57Z
dc.date.issued 2014 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation De Satgé, R. 2014. Ways of seeing: Conflicting rationalities in contested urban space - the N2 Gateway in the context of Langa. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/12289
dc.description Includes bibliographic references. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract In 2005 the South African Department of Housing announced the launch of the N2 Gateway – a housing ‘megaproject’ to pilot the Breaking New Ground (BNG) housing plan in Joe Slovo informal settlement in Langa, the oldest African township in Cape Town. This historically contextualised retroductive case study asks what can be learnt from the paradigmatic N2 Gateway to propose to planning theory why such projects, planned with the aim of improving the quality of life of poor and marginal urban residents of the post-apartheid city, so often fail to realise their planned improvements and result in conflict and unintended consequences. A conceptual framework provides the theoretical basis for examining how planning and implementation of the N2 Gateway exposes the underlying rationalities shaping relations amongst and between organs of state and key non-state development actors. Although the BNG policy made provision for in situ upgrading of informal settlements, in practice the state declared war on shacks and through the N2 Gateway set out to eradicate Joe Slovo and replace it with a mix of social and subsidy housing. The case provides the basis for analysis of the clash of rationalities amongst state actors who, together with their intermediaries, sought to exercise their ‘wills to govern and improve’ on the basis of simplifications of perceived problems and their solutions. These were countered by competing ‘wills to survive and thrive’ amongst groupings of Langa residents, which in Joe Slovo were closely bound to the logics of informality. Methodologically the study draws on research methods which embrace the ‘visual turn’, utilising satellite images and photographic compilations as narrative triggers for storytelling by residents, officials and civil society actors. The study draws on more than sixty image-led interview narratives which surface the multiple iv dimensions of the case, including complex interconnections between rural and urban spaces which shape social and spatial geographies of life in Langa. These expose multifaceted struggles within and between ‘molar structures’ of the state in the implementation of the megaproject, highlighting the switch points and reversals of power in state encounters with the micropolitics of local claims on space, place and belonging. The narratives reveal how diverse and concurrent resistance pathways including ‘quiet encroachment’, street protests, ‘elite capture’ and legal proceedings which went to the Constitutional Court disrupted, diverted and redirected the state’s schemes of improvement. The findings examine how the discourses and practices of the aspirant South African ‘developmental state’ show little understanding of or regard for the deep-rooted contestations and social differentiation within Langa between ‘Cape borners’ and generations of rural migrants known as amagoduka or ‘those who return home’. The conflicting rationalities and deep differences amongst and between state agents and within the broad cast of social actors in Langa extend far beyond the simple binary of state and ‘community’. The narratives highlight the fragmented and opaque nature of the state and the bifurcated Langa socialities stratified by the micropolitics of territory, differentiation and belonging. The case study speaks back to planning theory in order to provide important cautions against homogenisation and simplification at the intersection between the apparatus of biopolitics and governmentality and the strategies of struggle of groupings of the poor and not so poor to survive and thrive. It foregrounds a contingent yet historically embedded politics of encounter which eschews homogenising notions of community and a rules-governed communicative rationality in favour of more situated sense-making through agonistic conceptions of planning and development rooted in ‘the geography of what happens’. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.title Ways of seeing: Conflicting rationalities in contested urban space - the N2 Gateway in the context of Langa en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment en_ZA
dc.publisher.department School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


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