News & events


Advanced Spatial Analysis and Modeling Platforms in Support of Integrated Planning and the Sustainable Development of South Africa’s Cities and Regions

04 July 2011
12:15 - 12:30

Date :

04 July 2011

Time :

12:15 – 12:30

Presenters :

Maria Coetzee and Dr Louis Waldeck, of Built Environment, CSIR


Redressing spatial development distortions and the fragmentation of human settlements lies at the heart of many of South Africa’s major development challenges. A rigorous and shared understanding of spatial development patterns and trends and the driving forces that shape them are crucial for planners and decision-makers to make robust and sustainable plans and to better inform investment decisions. As part of its drive to support South Arica’s developmental state, in which spheres and sectors cooperate and coordinate to realise its development path, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has identified the need for rigorous spatial and temporal evidence to promote a shared understanding of past, current and possible future development patterns and trends.  The DST commissioned the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) to develop an integrated information and modelling platform to support integrated planning, development and service delivery for South Africa.    This seminar will focus on introducing two of the geo-spatial modelling and analysis platforms developed for the purpose of the project namely:  The Regional Spatial Profiler

The purpose of the Regional Spatial profiler is to enhance the spatial evidence used in regional planning processes, by making available comparable spatially disaggregated sets of regional scale spatial information on current and past trends in the form of thematic maps with a national coverage through a web-based portal, customised to address the requirements of integrated and spatial planning officials at district/regional and provincial planning offices.   End-users from four case study areas namely the Amathole District Municipality, the Cape Winelands District Municipality, the Mangaung Local Municipality and the Ugu District Municipality were involved in a collaborative living laboratory process to collaborate on the development of the platform.


Urban Simulation

The focus of this project component is to develop and implement an open source urban simulation platform for the modelling of a series of possible spatial urban growth patterns over a 30-year period in the context of a range of economic, demographic and spatial planning policy scenarios. The implications of these will be assessed for long-term planning, policy-making and infrastructure investment decisions in the major metropolitan regions of South Africa namely; the Gauteng Global City Region, the Thekwini Metropolitan Municipality, the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality and the City of Joburg.

The evidence generated by these platforms is distributed via the Spatial Temporal Evidence for Planning SA ( web portal to ensure that users can easily find and download relevant information to better inform their planning processes.  

Maria Coetzee is an urban geographer with extensive experience of urban and regional planning in the public sector and has managed, led and contributed to various research initiatives with national impact in the fields of spatial analysis, integrated development planning, inter-governmental planning and sustainable development for a range of public sector clients including several municipalities, metros, provinces and national departments as well as the Presidency and the NPC.  She is currently leading a multi-disciplinary team on the multi-phased ‘Integrated Development Management and Modelling’ project funded by the DST.  She has received various awards for her contribution to integrated development planning and has served on various committees such as the National IDP Steering Committee, The National IDP Task Team, The National IGR Reference Group, and the Project Steering Committee of the Municipal Demarcation Board to name but a few.  In her capacity as Research Group Leader: Regional and Urban Planning in the Built Environment Unit of the CSIR, she pursues her research interests through projects and initiatives at the interface of spatial analysis, development planning, regional development, urban geography, planning support systems and sustainability science. 

Louis Waldeck comes from an engineering background, obtaining two degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Pretoria and a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1991. He joined the CSIR in 1973 and established the discipline of building-aerodynamics, leading to research on the dynamic response of slender structures such as masts, towers and chimneys to wind loading.  He then moved on to the development of expert system technologies for computerising standards and codes of practice (wind and fire) used in the building industry.  During the last nineteen years of his career, he led numerous large scale research and development projects in the fields of management information systems associated with housing and infrastructure delivery and renewable energy.  In his current position as Competency Area Manager: Planning Support Systems and Fellow of the CSIR Built Environment, he is responsible for the Urban Dynamics Laboratory aimed at equipping a trans-disciplinary team of researchers and stakeholders with tools and methodologies to numerically model and simulate cities and regions as complex systems.  He currently leads the Urban Simulation Component of the DST funded ‘Integrated Development Management and Modelling’ project. His interest and expertise are in the areas of development management, software engineering, interoperability of systems and infrastructure/growth modelling.

The audio presentation from the seminar is available for download

Kindly RSVP by 1 July 2011




Cape Town: HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Vuyokazi Ngxubaza, Tel +27 (0) 21 466 8004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or Cell: +27 (0) 82 050 8453  

Durban: First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel +27 (0) 31 242 5400, Cell: +27 (0) 83 788 2786 or

Pretoria: HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: +27 (0) 12 302 2811 or or Baby Twala, Tel: +27 (0) 12 302 2368, E-mail: