Sustainable Communities – public participation, densification and the planning of public open spaces

Sustainable Communities Planning (SCP) is a methodology developed by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) designed to increase levels of sustainability and integration in the urban areas. It promotes a participatory approach to urban planning.

Although the SCP methodology covers a broad spectrum of planning issues related to the Millennium Development Goals, this project aims to specifically explore the application of the SCP principles across 3 thematic areas: densification, the planning of public open spaces and public participation; areas in which NMBM and Göteborg have identified that they share similar challenges and can work together towards the goal of achieving a more sustainable urban structure for their cities.

The project is based around reciprocal visits which will not only allow for ideas to be exchanged and comparisons to be drawn, but also for the principles of SCP to be put into practice.

The project will result in:

  • Furtherance of the Millennium Development Goals
  • A comparative study of NMBM’s Local Spatial Development Framework projects and development of Göteborg’s strategic nodes (including application of Sustainable Community Units (SCUs)
  • The production of recommended guidelines for the planning of public open spaces in both Göteborg and NMBM.
  • An evaluation of the effectiveness of Göteborg’s sociotope mapping and compensation measures for the loss of open spaces.
  • The development of a model to address loss of public open spaces and biodiversity and conservation issues in NMBM whilst achieving densification.
  • An evaluation of public participation techniques in the two cities, including the piloting of communication strategies in the planning process.
  • The transfer of ICT techniques for planning participation between the two planning authorities.
  • An improvement in cross-departmental working arrangements in both municipalities.