Remaking the Apartheid City

Director: Patrick Heller
Research Theme: Population Structures in the Urban Environment
Location: Republic of South Africa
Funding: NSF

Using GIS techniques, South African Census data and qualitative fieldwork, this project explores the economic and social reconfiguration of the post-apartheid city. The spatial engineering of apartheid resulted in the concentration of public services and infrastructure, such as access to electricity, trash collection, schools, and paved roads in the sections of cities designated as white under the Group Areas Act. Efforts to undo these inequalities have been a focus of all levels of post-apartheid government. This project examines changes in racial and economic segregation as well as the extent to which access to services and infrastructure has improved for all urban residents since the end of apartheid. Through a close examination of the cases of Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg, this project examines changes in racial and economic segregation as well as the extent to which access to services and infrastructure has improved for all urban residents since the end of apartheid. Specifically, the goal is to develop a social map of the evolution of the apartheid city to better understand the interface of social space, economic development and state intervention.