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An analysis of the urban morphological development of Cape Town, South Africa with a specific focus on emergent spatial and mobility systems that generate the opportunity for multi-racial co-presence.
Description Although Apartheid officially ended in 1994, scant empirical evidence exists into spatial factors which may serve to afford the generation of racial heterogeneity. This research, centred on Cape Town, as a primary case study is an empirical examination of the relationship between demographic racial integration and urban configuration in South African cities. The principal argument of this dissertation is that the spatial configuration and mobility systems of an urban environment can either reinforce existing racial homogeneity or allow for the creation of new networks of racial heterogeneity. Furthermore, it is argued that within this context, urban systems, which emerged organically, have the strongest relation with demographic racial integration. The research required a methodological approach which could encompass both physical and behavioural aspects. The precise descriptions offered by the evidence-based research techniques of space syntax allowed for a configurational understanding of both the spatial and social aspects of this study. A morphological analysis of Cape Town over three crucial time periods using space syntax analytical techniques, South African Census and GIS data confirmed that, on a global scale, the city remains predominantly racially and economically stratified. Despite the global trend of segregation, a local analysis of demographic racial integration, revealed that, residential racial heterogeneity is emerging in particular neighbourhoods. Through a compendium of neighbourhood case studies, specific spatial morphological characteristics were identified and shown to have a relation with demographic residential racial integration. Finally, the research examined mobility systems, from the perspective of how they may provide affordances for the creation of patterns of multi-racial co-presence, with a specific emphasis on the emergent minibus taxi system. Whilst this system has been widely stigmatised as chaotic and haphazard, the evidence has shown that it has an intrinsic spatial and social logic, forming the largest network of accessibility in the city. Finally, the thesis draws a series of conclusions which lead to a broad set of proposed recommendations.

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