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Publication Detail
Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Urban Farming in South African Low-Income Settlements: A Case Study in Durban
Abstract
Growing urban centres have been attracting ever higher numbers of rural migrants, including small-scale farmers, looking for better opportunities due to the rise of large-scale farming, loss of land and climate change. Consequently, there has been an increase in the number of spontaneous and informal settlements being constructed as cities do not keep up with the planning and infrastructure development for new arrivals. Urban dwellers in informal, unplanned settlements where issues of land tenure and access to services are prevalent have, consequently, been exposed to precarious living conditions with limited access to food and water scarcity. Urban agriculture (UA) strategies have been adopted by those residents to alleviate poverty and food insecurity, and have been seen to perform other functions, such as environmental, social, cultural and developmental. This study explores challenges and opportunities for sustainable urban farming as an integrated environmental management strategy for the upgrading of informal settlements in three case studies in Durban. This paper demonstrates the need for municipalities to support community driven processes to ensure sustainability of UA initiatives and sustained investment for maintenance. Policy makers need to create an enabling environment for academics, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector to co-develop water efficient solutions to manage the food-water nexus and capitalise on localised community structures and groups, such as co-operatives and women groups.
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The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction
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