Informal settlement upgrading and safety: experiences from Cape Town, South Africa

Informal settlement upgrading and safety: experiences from Cape Town, South Africa Informal settlement dwellers are disproportionately affected by ill health, violence and many other socio-economic challenges. These are largely connected to the unhealthy and unsafe physical conditions within which they live. Interventions in the built form through the provision of physical infrastructure have been proposed as a strategy to improve economic, social and health outcomes for informal settlement dwellers and are also suggested as tools to address violence and insecurity, which have reached unprecedented levels in many cities of the South. Whereas there is a clear case for improving the living conditions of people in slums, there is still much debate and uncertainty about what exactly constitutes upgrading, the most appropriate methods and approaches to upgrading, and what the objectives and desired outcomes of upgrading interventions ought to be. This paper tries to shed light on the complexity of upgrading interventions through a comparison of three upgrading projects, each utilising a particular method and approach, and their impact on the perception of safety of their beneficiaries. The research findings show that physical improvements and a full package of basic services are absolutely crucial to improve the living conditions, reduce vulnerabilities and improve the safety of informal settlement dwellers. But these need to be supported by social and economic programmes in order to bring about tangible improvements in people’s life circumstances. Research across the three sites, however, suggests that in a context marked by high unemployment, poor education and limited opportunities to break the cycle of poverty, the long-term impact and sustainability of upgrading interventions is limited in the absence of targeted programmes aimed at addressing the structural factors which drive and sustain high levels of violence and crime. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment Springer Journals

Informal settlement upgrading and safety: experiences from Cape Town, South Africa

Loading next page...
Springer Netherlands
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Social Sciences; Human Geography; Geography, general; Landscape/Regional and Urban Planning
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site


You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial