Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems

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Managing Tensions And Forging Creative Synergies Between Indigenous And Modern Settlement Planning Concepts And Practices: Lessons For The Design And Planning For Sustainable Settlements And Built-Forms In Southern Africa

TN Tapela


The article explores the apparent similarities in conceptions of space utilization, security and sustainability, deriving from the nature of dwelling and settlement design, how these articulated the existing modes of production of space, society and the economy – and
therefore could be reproduced sustainably. The article also explores the planning principles,
design concepts, standards and norms used in the planning and building of indigenous
African settlements and dwellings and suggests that, by tapping into rich traditions of
indigenous planning systems, the organic link between sustainable resource utilization
and livelihood sustenance can be enriched.

Keywords: Indigenous knowledge systems, planning systems, circularity, adaptability, sustainability.

Indilinga Vol. 6 (2) 2007 pp. 102-109

AJOL African Journals Online