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Integrated Land Use-Transport Planning (CIV5038Z)

Course convenor: Prof Roger Behrens (Department of Civil Engineering)

Motivation for the course
The land use systems and transport systems of contemporary cities are manifestly interrelated. People, goods and services circulate through transport networks in order to move between, and engage with, spatially discrete urban activities, the distribution of which is reflected in patterns of land use and spatial development. Despite the significance of this connection between land use systems and transport systems, in South African cities they have typically continued to be planned and managed by different sets of professionals, working within or for different government departments, operating within different statutory planning frameworks, and producing different plans and improvement programmes implemented through different budgets. In addition, many of the transport planning practices developed under previous policy environments and within a different context continue to be applied, to some extent, under the new policy environment in the post-apartheid context.  Such practices, first developed in the late 1950s, were not intended to evaluate the effects of demand management strategies and remain centrally focused on the problem of traffic congestion, and the construction of highways to alleviate the problem. In contrast, the planning frameworks embodied in South African policy and legislation since the mid-1990s clearly imply a need for an approach to urban transport planning and management which:

  • enables land use and transport planning issues to be addressed in a way which is effectively integrated with the broader integrated development planning process at the local level;

  • emphasises the provision of safe, convenient and affordable public transport services over the accommodation of private mobility; and

  • explicitly recognises and deals with issues of social inequity and environmental sustainability in the urban transport sector.

This course is intended to address these needs.

Course objectives
The objective of this course is to provide students with an overview of the problems and prospects of aligning transport planning processes with existing policy directives and contextual realities, as well as establishing a more integrated approach to the planning of urban activity and transport systems, which interact in complex ways in contemporary cities. It offers students a coherent conceptualisation of the processes involved in addressing such problems, explores methods and processes through which appropriate integrated urban land use-transport plans and programmes might be formulated, and provides opportunities to reflect critically on current developments in the field both locally and internationally.

Course structure and content
The course comprises four phases:

  • a pre-contact period of five weeks, involving some 30-40 hours of preparatory reading and assignment;

  • a week of intensive contact time at UCT, comprising 40-50 hours of formal lectures and class assignments;

  • a two-hour course test (on the Monday following the contact week), intended to evaluate students’ understanding of selected aspects of the material they have been exposed to during the contact week, and
  • a post-contact period of seven weeks, involving an assignment or assignments requiring about 100 hours of work.

The material presented during the contact period is structured around four broadly sequential but unevenly weighted themes or topics:

Transport in urban systems: conceptual framework:

  • The role of transport in urban activity systems; travel need and travel behaviour; systems of urban transport provision; urban activity systems and land use patterns: the role of the urban land market and urban planning; conceptualisation of the land use-transport connection; generic city forms and associated transport networks.

Planning intervention in urban activity and transport systems:

  • Rationale for planning intervention as a field of public action/policy; evolution of approaches to planning and associated planning processes and methods in both the land use and transport planning arenas; considerations of economic efficiency, social equity and environmental sustainability as planning objectives.

Land use-transport planning frameworks and transport planning practice in South Africa:

  • Policy objectives and current statutory requirements for land use and transport planning in South Africa: IDPs/SDFs, ITPs; limitations of the current planning frameworks; funding for transport system interventions; case studies of integrated transport planning practice in South African cities.

Approaches to integrated land use-transport planning: local and international experience:

  • Emerging approaches to integrated land use-transport planning: current concepts (transit oriented development, public transport-based development corridors); selected case studies of integrated land use-transport planning in practice: institutional (legislative, policy, organisational) issues, implementational frameworks or measures, and outcomes.

Formal presentations on these topics by both Programme staff and invited external specialists are interspersed with work on a group assignment, the product of which is presented and discussed on the last day of the course.

Readings for the preparatory assignment are issued through the course’s Vula website about five weeks prior to the commencement of the contact period. Additional readings may be issued during the contact week or subsequently through the Vula course website, together with the brief for the major post-contact phase assignment.

Contact week attendance
Students are expected to attend the contact week on a full-time basis, which will require them to be resident in Cape Town for its duration given that the daily timetable during this period will generally occupy the hours from 08h00 to 17h00. Attendance for the entire contact period is a requirement, and students who are absent for more than 20% of the contact period duration will not be allowed to complete the course.

Learning outcomes
Students who have completed the course successfully should:

  • have a clear conceptual understanding of the complex dynamics of interaction between urban land use and transport systems;

  • comprehend the essential nature of the planning process and its key moments, understand why planning intervention in urban transport and land use systems is warranted, and have a critical perspective on the implications of different planning approaches for issues of appropriate process and method;

  • be familiar with the current legislative and policy frameworks governing transport and land use planning in South Africa and have a critical understanding of their implications for planning practice, particularly at the local level; and

  • be equipped to draw critically on the lessons of experience in integrated land use-transport planning both locally and internationally in this endeavour.

The aggregate mark for this course is compiled as follows:

  • minor assignment based on preparatory reading


  • group contact week assignment


  • course test


  • major post-contact phase assignment




Students who do not obtain an aggregate mark of at least 50% for their preparatory assignment, course test and post-contact phase assignment will be deemed to have failed the course.