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Conditions for Urban Sustainability in South Africa: Waste management and everyday life practices
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The concentration of populations in urban areas is unprecedented, and cities will continue to grow. This increases pressure on cities to provide services for their growing populations, such as waste management. The Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG11, focuses on urbanisation: Make cities & human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Target 11.6 proposes paying special attention to waste management. Waste generation is increasing due to changed patterns of consumption, and the planet is now facing a global waste crisis. Cities worldwide have to transition into waste smart entities by minimising and reducing waste for the sake of becoming sustainable, safe cities for their inhabitants.

 

For South Africa, the challenge is not only linked to urbanisation and population growth. The country is named the most inequitable country in the world and faces a multifaceted challenge as they also battle resilient structures of the past.

 

The purpose of this study is to identify obstacles and opportunities for transitioning to sustainable urban waste management in South Africa. To do so a methodology inspired by ethnography has been applied in order to uncover the everyday practices of people, as well as analysing the current plan for waste management. All data was interpreted through the lens of previous research on South African policy-making, and the theory of structuration was used to enable discussion on obstacles and opportunities for urban sustainability and waste management.

 

Conclusively, the biggest obstacle for sustainable waste management is the inequality and exclusion from opportunities. This lack of opportunity means that citizens are first and foremost preoccupied with their day-to-day needs, such as job- and food security, leaving waste management further down the list. To get residents to care about waste livelihoods must be improved, and a path to inclusion and opportunity has to be found. The dire unequal terms of life for many citizens must be addressed in order to achieve the urban sustainability it strives for.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 40
Keywords [en]
waste management, urban sustainability, south africa, social practice
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-74504OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-74504DiVA, id: diva2:1345459
Subject / course
Environmental Science, Bachelors´s thesis
Educational program
Environmental Science (180 ECTS credits)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-09-06 Created: 2019-08-25 Last updated: 2019-09-06Bibliographically approved

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Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

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Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013)
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