This article analyses whether the physical desegregation of a residential neighbourhood ultimately facilitates the social integration of its residents. Desegregation is measured quantitatively (i.e. using census data for a suburb in which no single race comprises more than 50% and at least one other racial group comprises 25%), and social integration is assessed qualitatively using indicators such as friendship, common local identity, sharing local facilities and involvement in local institutions. Essentially this research is concerned with whether labelling a suburb ‘desegregated’ is a superficial term that whilst implying racial mixing actually masks social segregation; and also whether assumptions that urban policies of desegregation ultimately facilitate social integration are accurate. This desegregation/integration nexus is explored by examining the lives of residents of a desegregated Cape Town neighbourhood. South Africa provides a timely context because the legacy of apartheid’s spatial and social design continues to dominate the urban scene despite policy efforts to promote both desegregation and integration.
CHARLOTTE L. LEMANSKI
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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