Combating socio-spatial polarization in a globalizing environment: a textual analysis of the tension between pro-growth and pro-poor policies in the housing plan of Cape Town, South Africa


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Towson University. Department of Geography and Environmental Planning


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Cities across the developing world are caught between the demands of growth-oriented globalization and pro-poor policies aimed to improve the livelihoods of impoverished residents. For world cities, like Cape Town, the dynamics of world city formation, especially the impact of socio-spatial polarization, complicates the relationship between growth and redistribution. Cape Town's legacy as an apartheid city further exacerbates the situation. Cape Town's government believes it can achieve both a growth agenda and a redistribution agenda to overcome the segregation inherited from the apartheid era while dealing with the socio-spatial polarization that occurs during world city formation. A textual analysis of the language used in the city's Integrated Development Plan and Integrated Housing Plan, however, shows the city favors growth over redistribution.