Inclusive Smart Cities
This domain rest on the premise that cities cannot be smart if they are not inclusive. The literature on smart cities rarely uses words like inclusion, and when it does, it frequently takes a theoretical and limited approach. People must be at the center of the rising of Smart Cities (Naphade et al. 2001), however, literature presents the citizens’ empowerment as one of the challenges of Smart Cities and research opportunities (Khatoun & Zeadally, 2016; Santana, et al, 2017). The essential element for successful outcomes of smart city developments is to start from people by focusing on citizen needs, embracing citizen-centric design, and searching for an integral quality of life for all.
Technology can offer new creative solutions, but it should always remain a means to an end at the service of citizens. Under this domain, the chair undertakes to produce research output necessary to prepare cities with the capacity to provide opportunities for all, with equal access to public services and space, and create the resources necessary to equip cities with the ability to offer opportunities to everyone. Hence, the Inclusive Smart City concept is a progressive effort to address the issue of inequalities, in line with the South African Smart Cities Framework.
|Beaufort West||Western Cape||-32.3500||22.5833|
|Aliwal North||Eastern Cape||-30.7000||26.7000|
|De Aar||Northern Cape||-30.6500||24.0167|
|Jeffrey�s Bay||Eastern Cape||-34.0333||24.9167|
|Port Alfred||Eastern Cape||-33.6000||26.8833|
|Saint Helena Bay||Western Cape||-32.7583||18.0278|
|Lambert's Bay||Western Cape||-32.0833||18.3000|
|Port Saint John's||Eastern Cape||-31.6288||29.5369|
Race and Class
This domain rests on the premise that spatial development in South African urban areas is largely polarised by class and race. Adebayo (2012) lamented the proliferation of such spatial development, which she attributed to economic forces at work. It is therefore not surprising that 80% of the population that is satisfied with housing and its associated supporting infrastructure is mostly the white population, while the least satisfied are the Blacks, who ironically, are the majority. Unfortunately, this polarisation seems to be growing as shown by the emergence of gated housing communities with access to high-quality infrastructure.
The increase in community protests and violence among poor urban householders are indicators of poor well-being, governance, and overall failure to address this growing gap. From a housing perspective, the government’s inclusive policies such as the Social Housing policy (2008); The Framework for an Inclusionary Housing Policy (2007), and the Breaking New Grounds (2004) were all enacted to address this spatial inequity. The National Development Plan’s (Vision 2030) intention to build urban communities with a focus on spatial integration, sustainability, efficiency, and balance is a realisation and pointer to this growing gap that cities are experiencing – hence the need to investigate dynamics at work to build inclusive cities.
The other domain which provides a point of entry into interrogating urban inclusion and well-being is the minority cluster which migrants represent. But of greater significance is the vulnerability of immigrants – especially black Africans from other African countries who suffer from xenophobic attacks at the hands of locals. The instability of urban spaces to migrants largely arising out of anti-foreigner sentiments deepens marginalisation and social exclusion among migrants. However, different urban spaces have different migration profiles, which require locally responsive and appropriate mechanisms to address this problem. Intervention measures spelt out through spatial policy documents fail to articulate demographic issues of this nature more effectively. Hence this research intends to interrogate this issue within the context of creating an inclusive city where the well-being of migrants is addressed.
People Living with Disability
This domain, which falls under the cluster of the minority arises out of the lack of responsiveness of cities to the needs of the blind, handicapped and elderly city dwellers. It is important to reflect on the reality that half of all persons with disabilities and older persons around the world now live in towns and cities. Unfortunately, their existence has been marginalised to the extent of being invisible in the urban landscape. In the South African context, this high level of exclusivity is visible in the absence of appropriate supportive urban infrastructure. These sentiments are echoed in the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2015) which observes that there is poor service infrastructure for people with disabilities in underdeveloped areas.
Women and Children
This domain falls under the vulnerable cluster which is represented by women, children, and the elderly. Vulnerability, which refers to the inability of people to cope with or adapt to the impact of multiple stressors is a common phenomenon among women and children. This is not a new area of concern because various authors and organisations have discussed the issues of vulnerability to different lengths and depths (see Desai & Mahadevia, 2018; UN-Habitat, 2015; Legacy et al, 2013). Issues under this domain relate to safety, protection, and access to services. Jagori (2009) argues that the city is not sensitive to gender issues especially those that relate to sexual abuse of women both in public and private spaces. South Africa, which is dubbed the ‘rape capital of the world’ cannot have a gender-inclusive city when issues of fear and safety stalk its streets.
It is against this background that the NDP Vision 2030 captures this perception by advocating that by 2030, people living in South Africa should feel safe at home, school, and work, and they should enjoy a community life free of fear, walk freely in the streets and the children should play safely outside. This acknowledgment by the government calls for an interrogation of the inclusivity of South African cities to women and children. Issues at stake under this domain relate to safety, protection, and access to space and services.