I was asked to present about my experiences on Flexible Planning at the SAPI conference Planning Africa 2014 in Durban (20-22 October 2014).
The conference focused on integral and inclusive planning. As a human geographer I presented a project that I started in the Netherlands; Flexible Planning. The idea for Flexible Planning evolved from several projects I worked on in which planning schemes restricted or blocked the realisation of plans. I started to look for a new way to implement planning schemes and came across several questions;
- Why not get rid of planning schemes in certain areas and by doing that inviting stakeholders (people who live there, work there or spend time there) to think about what they would like to see in the area.
- What happens if instead of stating ‘activities that are allowed’, and therefore excluding a lot of other possible wanted activities, one states ‘these activities are not allowed’.
Planning regulations in South Africa are quite similar to the ones in the Netherlands. Therefore I pleaded to start experimenting with flexible planning in South Africa as well and I think that many areas would benefit from it.