Enclaves and Quartering in Urban South Africa

  • Bradley RinkEmail author
Part of the GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL)


Comprehending the South African city—and cities beyond—requires an understanding of the form and functioning of the urban environment, in addition to the ways in which urban dwellers shape city spaces into places of meaning, intention and belonging. This chapter introduces readers to the processes and outcomes of shaping urban space in the form of enclaves and urban quarters. Beginning with a discussion of the history of enclave development and the process of ‘quartering’ urban space, this chapter explores three typologies of enclave and quartered development in the context of South Africa, namely: ethnic/racial; residential; and creative/cultural. While apartheid spatial planning serves as a precursor to enclave development in cities, this chapter traces the continuing deployment of enclaves and urban quarters as a means of materially and discursively shaping urban space and the experience of cities. Using a case study of the urban enclave of De Waterkant, Cape Town, this chapter explores the development and outcomes of enclaves and quarters, while it also provides a conceptual lens through which neighbourhood change more broadly can be understood. At the same time, this chapter provides a framework for investigating and understanding the relationships that urban dwellers create with such structures. In the 21st century, urban quarters constitute an important catalyst in the regeneration and commodification of urban space, while the resulting enclaves and quarters reflect the shifting identities of the city while also embodying new forms of regeneration, inclusion and exclusion that characterise cities in the era of globalisation. Understood in recent literature through a lens of leisure and consumption, a more nuanced analysis of urban enclaves and quarters offers multiple representations of South African and other cities.


Enclave Quartering Neighbourhood change Segregation Consumption 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography, Environmental Studies & TourismUniversity of the Western CapeBellvilleSouth Africa

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