Quantifying the spatial implications of future land use policies in South Africa

A. Le Roux, P.W.M. Augustijn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Land use policies have a definite and lasting impact on the way that cities grow; however, it is difficult for policy- and decision-makers to observe and quantify the implications of their land use policies and strategies. There is thus a need for information and tools that can adequately support policy debates and influence decision-making through scientific evidence. Land use change models provide such a tool and have often been applied and tested in developed countries but lack the ability to simulate many of the multifaceted social problems observed in developing countries. Some more advanced models also require large amounts of data that are normally not available for South African cities. In this research, we adjust the existing Dyna-CLUE model to accommodate the unique multifaceted problems such as informal settlements, backyard shacks, rapid population growth and government interventions with regard to social housing projects and test the model for the city of Johannesburg. Two scenarios (AS-IS and Policy-Led) in combination with an urban development boundary (UDB) were tested and their effect was evaluated based on their influences on the cities spatial inequality, densification of the urban spatial pattern and increase in access to public transport. Results indicated that the Policy-Led scenario can improve the wealth and economic distributions between the north and south of the city. It can also provide more economic opportunities for the households living in the south of the city. Enforcing an UDB has a positive impact on urban sprawl and will result in increased densities across the city. The effect of the policies on the commuter distances indicated that both scenarios will lead to an overall increase in the number of households that have access to public transport, but the Policy-Led scenario will allow a greater number of low-income earners to have access to the public transport systems. We see great possibilities for using the existing model to simulate land use change in South African cities. The model requires less input data compared to some other modelling techniques and with small adjustments and adaptations can prove to be a useful tool for urban planners
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-51
Number of pages24
JournalSouth African geographical journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2017


  • 2023 OA procedure


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantifying the spatial implications of future land use policies in South Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this