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Volume 4, Issue 4-1
Expired Date:
Jun. 10, 2015
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Home / Journals / Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries / Planning for Sustainable Communities: Green-Spaces in Rural Areas
Planning for Sustainable Communities: Green-Spaces in Rural Areas
Lead Guest Editor:
Ellizelle Juanee Cilliers
Urban and Regional Planning, Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom, North-West Province, South Africa
Paper List
1
Authors: Elizelle Juaneé Cilliers
Pages: 1-5 Published Online: May 27, 2015
Views 5110 Downloads 167
2
Authors: Okeke D. C.
Pages: 6-13 Published Online: May 27, 2015
Views 4751 Downloads 115
3
Authors: Nicolene de Jong
Pages: 14-20 Published Online: May 27, 2015
Views 3584 Downloads 79
4
Authors: Ma-Rene’ Kriel
Pages: 21-32 Published Online: May 27, 2015
Views 4876 Downloads 175
5
Authors: Zhan Goosen
Pages: 33-44 Published Online: May 27, 2015
Views 5221 Downloads 126
6
Authors: Luan Cilliers
Pages: 45-51 Published Online: May 27, 2015
Views 3576 Downloads 85
7
Authors: Hildegard E. Rohr
Pages: 52-58 Published Online: May 27, 2015
Views 5064 Downloads 91
8
Authors: Sanmarie Schlebusch
Pages: 59-72 Published Online: May 27, 2015
Views 5336 Downloads 144
9
Authors: Bernice B. Van Schalkwyk
Pages: 73-79 Published Online: May 27, 2015
Views 22869 Downloads 399
10
Authors: Elizelle Juaneé Cilliers
Pages: 80-86 Published Online: May 27, 2015
Views 4857 Downloads 132
Introduction
"To change life, we must first change space". This special issue aims to create a toolbox that will guide future sustainable community planning, focusing on rural areas and green-space provision, with the objective to assist local municipalities in the spatial planning decision-making process. The direct (economic) and indirect (social and environmental) benefits of green-spaces will be captured thoughroughly, based on the South African current reality (within urban and rural areas), in order to draw conclusions on the value of each of these dimensions, and also to be able to create a toolbox to guide future decision-making in terms of spatial planning, that will result in the development of qualitative, lively rural areas.

Sustainable development is a utopian aspiration for most urban and rural areas. Sustainable development, as defined throughroughly in literature, always includes three dimensions: social aspects, the economy and the environment. Sustainable development is a fine balancing act of these three dimensions. However, after ten years since the introduction of the sustainable development concept, it is still not fully realized in practice and implemented in the South African local urban and rural environment. This study evaluates sustainable development (in terms sustainable space, useful spaces and valuable spaces) from a spatial planning perspective, arguing that unequal prioritization between pro-development approaches and pro-environmental approaches the greatest reason is for unsustainability in the urban and rural areas. The economy (along with development pressures) and the environment (along with green-space protection initiatives) should be planned holistic in order to reach a sustainable state. Reality is however, that the environment is often neglected, and sometimes sacrificed to benefit and enhance development. This is mainly due to the planning of spaces and the perceptions of local authorities in regards to the function and value of environmental areas, in comparison to the revenue of development. It is believed that authorities will value green-spaces better when a monetary value can be connected to it. In this way, this study will provide a toolbox for decision-making in terms of spatial planning, based on an integrated approach to value living spaces. It is crucial that South African cities address the current lack of green-spaces in urban and rural areas, in order to be able to provide liveable cities, with sustainable, useful, valuable spaces.

The approach is to re-establish the balance of sustainable development, in terms of all of the dimensions (social – with the focus to strengthen communities, environment – with the focus to develop spaces that will be attractive and economic – with the focus to enhance the marketability of the area). When all three dimensions are equally valued by local municipalities, it will be reflected in the planning and budgeting processes as well. An approach to strengthen the environmental dimension (and to regain the balance of sustainable development) and to justify municipal spending is to determine the economic value of green-spaces, in order to be more measurable and comparable to development revenues. This does not imply that the social and environmental benefits of green-spaces will be neglected. The direct (economic) and indirect (social and environmental) benefits of green-spaces will be captured thoughroughly, based on the South African current reality (within urban and rural areas), in order to draw conclusions on the value of each of these dimensions, and also to be able to create a toolbox to guide future decision-making in terms of spatial planning, that will result in the development of qualitative, lively rural areas.
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