Africa at Noon on October 24, 2012

Informal Settlement Upgrading: Notions of Modernity vs Community Empowerment

Neil Klug
School of Architecture and Planning
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

206 Ingra­ham Hall
1155 Obser­va­tory Drive
Madi­son, WI


The presentation concerns the multitude of views on what informal settlement upgrading entails and the approaches to it. It further explores these views and approaches in the context of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals and the Cities Without Slums campaign. The presentation, using examples from the metropolitan areas of eThekwini in South Africa and Lagos in Nigeria, illustrates how different interpretations of the MDG’s and Cities without Slums Campaign are affecting outcomes.


Neil Klug has worked in the field of urban planning for about 25 years, in the private and academic sectors. He worked previously as an urban planning technician for a local planning consultancy (1980 -1983) and then as an urban planner for an international planning consultancy (1988 – 1999) working in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and Swaziland. He has worked as an independent consultant since 1999. Neil began teaching at the then University of Natal in 1996, and as a senior lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2001.

His areas of expertise are in the areas of informal settlement upgrading, spatial planning, urban land use management and affordable housing policy. Current areas of research interest include planning gain mechanisms, value capture and land expropriation in developing world contexts, inclusionary housing and approaches to in-situ informal settlement upgrading.