Ariana Muca

Date of Award


Document Type



Landscape Architecture

Thesis Advisor

Margaret Bryant


Gentrification, Cape Town (South Africa)


South Africa has suffered from gentrification since the Apartheid rule [1948-1994). The result of the Apartheid rule has left the South African landscape fragmented. Areas were classified as "White Only", "Coloured Only" and "Black Only". Twenty years later one can still see the scars of forcing people to live in certain districts. As time passes from the Apartheid rule South Africans are beginning to move out of their colored classified districts and begin to move into new areas. The Apartheid rule not only divided the country by race but left many Africans of color in extreme poverty unfortunately the connection between race and economic standing are still very much connected in South Africa. Landscape Architects world wide continue to struggle with both the positive and negative effects of gentrification, but little has been done in South Africa within the fields of education or policy to address the negative issues. One of the greatest challenges facing post-Apartheid is the lack of social cohesion. Urban planners argue that the architecture of the Apartheid city was shaped entirely by the race-based allocations of social, spatial, and economic privileges [Parnell, 1977). In post-Apartheid South Africa, inequalities continue to manifest creating racially segregated landscapes. Since the early 1990's, people have been moving out from the city into nearby suburbs of Cape Town such as Woodstock. Garside [2003) and Van der Merwe [2000) established that gentrification in Woodstock which began in the 1980s when the National Commission of Enquire first allowed white communities to decide where racial desegregation could take place. At this time, higher-middle class families began to settle into Lower Woodstock. Due to the Apartheid, Lower Woodstock was a Black area of low economic standing. This shift from low economic statues to higher changed Woodstock's landscape demographics and caused my families who had been there since the beginning of the Apartheid to be forced to move. Similar to Syracuse and other rust belt cities of the United States; Cape Town has experienced a flight to the suburbs. Since the 1970s, South African inner cities and their surrounding areas have experienced decay, disinvestment and "white flight" to suburbs [Kotze & Visser, 2008). With close proximity to Cape Town's City Bowl District and charming historical architecture, Woodstock began to become a high value real-estate opportunity.