“Successful urban environments are environments that work for the rich and the poor”

  1. Introduction – the global setting/north-south debate
  2. Housing / Development / Professionalism
  3. A theoretical background
  4. Paradigm shifts – thinking on housing over time
  5. The SA scenario
  6. Post apartheid housing policy
  7. Delivery targets and development plans – where to from here?



“Create inhumane environments and people will respond likewise”

  1. Global dynamics – national imperatives
  2. Urbanisation debates
  3. Housing and services
  4. Urban regeneration
  5. Restructuring and transformation
  6. Equity and opportunity

Submit assignment 1 (20 %)
Tour of urban regeneration projects
Issue assignment 2


“Informality is faster and more efficient in providing for the needs of the poor: formal mechanisms of housing delivery are too slow and unaffordable”

  1. Who builds the city?
  2. Participation
  3. The role of governments in housing processes
  4. Approaches to informality
  5. Beneficiaries and Non-qualifiers?
  6. New visions, approaches and implementation models



“Do community-based organizations really have a community behind them?”

  1. Housing that makes “business sense” – the housing market and affordability
  2. Housing eco-system
  3. A housing ladder?
  4. Housing funding systems
  5. Stakeholders, partnerships and the meaning of community Spatial justice and the spatial economy



“People do not want to stand out in the neighbourhood as living in the weird experimental box.”

  1. Quality, permanence and transience
  2. Project examples – international and national examples
  3. Government-subsidised social rental housing – opportunities and challenges
  4. Design principles, the design professions and design decision-making strategies
  5. Residential Open Building
  6. Graphic and Design tools for housing



This module emphasises understanding rather than memorising in order to stimulate creative thinking and the development of innovative skills. A problem driven approach is followed. You are expected to participate in discussions during lectures.

At the end of this module, a student will be able to:

  • formulate concepts relevant to housing and understand the political, economical and environmental impact of decision regarding housing delivery
  • explain various housing scenarios and the South African policy setting with regards to housing
  • understand and be in a position to apply good design principles in housing projects
  • define housing and terminology used in housing
  • to develop a deeper understanding for housing issues in South Africa; formulate concepts and views based on a broader frame of reference by looking at contemporary international precedents
  • to develop the ability to discuss, co-relate, logically analyse various housing scenarios

The above will be achieved by:

  • exploring alternative approaches to housing provision
  • reviewing case studies which reflect good practice in housing design

The module will present various housing typologies as manifestations of social-political-economic-cultural-historical realities and also aims to emphasise the potential of the design professions in making a change in the situation of housing in South Africa.