Housing, planning and urban health: Historical and current perspectives from South Africa (2020)

Job Gbadegesin, Michael Pienaar, Lochner Marais

Bulletin of Geography. Socio-economic Series | Volume 48: Issue 48

OpenAccess article here.

Globally, policymakers often describe informal settlements and slums in terms of health problems. In this paper we trace the way housing and planning have been linked to health concerns in the history of South Africa and we assess post-apartheid literature on the topic. We note that researchers continue to rely on a biomedical understanding of the relationship between housing, planning and health although, we argue, the links between them are tenuous. We propose the capabilities approach as a way to understand this relationship. Reframing the relationship between housing, planning and health within the capabilities approach may improve the current understanding of this link.

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