- University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban, South Africa
- University of Westminster, London (UK), uTshani Fund (local NGO part of SASDI network) - eThekwini Municipality
This side event will present preliminary results of the of the first four Phases of the collaborative project called ISULabantu (http://www.isulabantu.org/), led by the University of KwaZulu-Natal (SA) and the University of Westminster (UK), in collaboration with University College London (UK), the NGO uTshani Fund (SA) and the eThekwini Municipality (SA). The overarching aim of this study is to uncover the benefits and challenges of moving towards a more participatory, incremental approach focusing on construction management and integrated environmental managements systems, which can enhance quality of life, livelihoods and, ultimately, community resilience and self-reliance. ISULabaNtu seeks to enhance skills, explore indigenous knowledge and share lessons between communities and local and national authorities and research institutions. The core vision is to re-examine informal settlements through the lenses of the community and co-producing inclusive approaches for the upgrading of informal settlements. ISULabaNtu is framed around the holistic view that informal settlement upgrading is not about physical housing per se but rather a socio-technical approach that delivers social capital, livelihood development, empowerment and skills to the inhabitants. Participatory action research methods are followed to ‘co-produce’ knowledge with residents and community researchers in three selected case studies. An interactive presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with selected experts in the areas of urban regeneration, housing policy, community participation and environmental management. A comprehensive definition of Community-led approach and the existing gaps between local government and informal settlement communities revealed by this study, may be used as a platform for developing a new grassroots-based framework for upgrading informal settlements in South Africa. The ISULabaNtu project recognises grassroots approaches as key strategies to build sustainable and resilient cities (sharing the inclusive NUA vision, based on participation and people-centred approaches).
The event will be presented by Dr Claudia Loggia (Principal Investigator of the SA team of ISULabaNtu) and Mrs Judith Ojo-Aromokudu (Collaborator –SA team of ISULabaNtu) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.