chapter  14
Reflections on Some Aspects of Town-Building During the 1800s at the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, of Relevance to Today
ByFabio Todeschini
Pages 21

With an area of over 2,400 square kilometers, currently metropolitan Cape Town has a population in excess of 3,7 million and, typical of cities of the global South, it is growing relatively rapidly.2 The setting is splendid, yet there is very significant inequality, increasing poverty as well as economic and settlement informality,3 with the ever greater deployment of survivalist strategies on the part of the many economically and spatially marginalized. The spatial separation of land use functions (those of live, work, play and movement),4 in combination with the legacy of apartheid, of an increasingly geographically eccentric (yet politicallyand economically-entrenched Cape Town city center), and the imposition of a large-scale limited access highway grid for vehicular mobility since the 1950s, have produced a settlement reality characterized by separation, fragmentation, sprawl, long trip-lengths5 and low average densities, with the majority of the poor residing in areas far from places of economic opportunity.6