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Open Access Racial and social zoning in African cities from colonization to postindependence

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Racial and social zoning in African cities from colonization to postindependence

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses an issue that has been studied in a comparative perspective, that of urban residential segregation - the policies and practices of urban residential zoning during colonialism, and their continuation after independence. Self-evidently, in many ways colonial urban policies have left an imprint on the postcolonial developments of the African city. The chapter argues that the residential laws and rules played a minor role during both colonial and postcolonial times. The colonial period can be divided in two phases: first, up to the 1930s, when urban planning was given little attention and residential policies barely existed; second, between the early 1930s and the 1960s, when residential policies and planning began to be more seriously planned. This colonial town planning continued without great changes in the early decades of independence. In Johannesburg racial zoning increased rather than decreased; Soweto, the southwestern township of Johannesburg, became larger than ever before.

Keywords: African city; colonialism; racial zoning; Soweto; urban residential zoning



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