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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Afrique du Sud → 2020 → Barriers to, and enablers of urban tree planting in low-cost housing areas : lessons from participatory learning processes in South Africa

Rhodes University (2020)

Barriers to, and enablers of urban tree planting in low-cost housing areas : lessons from participatory learning processes in South Africa

Gwedla, Nanamhla

Titre : Barriers to, and enablers of urban tree planting in low-cost housing areas : lessons from participatory learning processes in South Africa

Auteur : Gwedla, Nanamhla

Université de soutenance : Rhodes University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)in Environmental Science 2020

Résumé
The recent pronouncement of low-cost housing areas as sustainable human settlements came with an expectation for their development in line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11. Unfortunately, the historical legacy and various socio-economic, socio-political, and socio-cultural dynamics characteristic of these areas have proven it challenging for them to conform to all requirements of urban sustainability, as evidenced in part by the virtual lack of greenspaces and urban trees. Through a three-tier inquiry of urban tree planting in low-cost housing areas using inductive and deductive mixed methods approaches, the aim of this research was to investigate the barriers to, and enablers of, tree planting in low-cost housing areas, and explore participatory learning opportunities to address the challenges and enhance the enablers. In the first segment, a participatory urban forest governance conceptual framing lens was used to situate the various actors in the development of the low-cost housing area urban forest and the dynamics of their involvement in that regard. Inquiry focused on an overview of tree planting across South Africa using key informant interviews, observations and document analysis. Secondly, distribution of trees, and barriers and enablers of tree planting in selected low-cost housing areas in the Eastern Cape province using household surveys, observations, key informant interviews and document analysis were investigated. Finally, drawing on interventionist methodology and adoption of Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT), the third segment tested scenarios of tree planting in three different small towns through focus group discussions and knowledge-sharing awareness events about trees and tree planting using an activity systems approach. Findings from the first segment ascertain the national Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) as the custodian of forestry, and by extension urban forestry in South Africa. Municipalities are tasked with implementing greening plans and strategies for public space planting, while private businesses collaborate with entities to contribute to tree-planting as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Civil society, including residents and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) also contribute, especially for private space planting. However, there are currently very few initiatives implemented in low-cost housing areas. An assessment of ten tree planting initiatives revealed that the DEFF is the most common partner and stakeholder, and normally provides resources such as funding and trees. Most programs reported having undertaken community engagement before and during the tree planting.

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