Analyzing the temporal location of employment centers relative to residential areas in Cape Town: A spatial metrics approach

Hazvinei Tsitsi Tamuka Moyo, Mark Zuidgeest


The marginalization of low-income earners, in regard to access to economic activities, is a topical issue in South Africa. The location of residential areas relative to locations of employment plays a large role in determining how accessible employment opportunities are to individuals. This has led to several studies that look at the polarization of growth in places of economic activities in more affluent suburbs within the discourse of social exclusion and transformation. Since South African independence, several policies were drafted to address issues of segregation and social exclusion, among other issues. However, the question remains whether there has been progress in addressing these issues. This research applies landscape metrics to understand the growth trends in the spatial location of residential areas, relative to centers of economic activities, from 1995 (start of democracy) to 2013. The analyses reveal that high- and middle-income residential areas are typically located near commercial land uses. This explains the mixed land-use patterns that are found in middle-income residential areas. On the other hand, low-income residential areas were observed to be, dominantly, in large homogeneous and continuous patches.


land use

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