Other Names: Spatial Injustice, Geographical Inequality, Location Discrimination, Spatial Apartheid
The unequal distribution or access to resources and/or opportunities based on location
Alexandra Township in context to Sandton, Johannesburg: Unequal Scenes – Johnny Miller
Spatial Inequality refers to the uneven distribution or access given to socially valued resources and opportunities based on location in space or boundaries set by such conditions.
It is considered easy to identify areas that are negatively affected by Spatial Inequality, but due to the systemic and long term nature of the underlying processes that cause this – it is often difficult to clearly identify the root cause that produce spatial unequal urban patterns.
Spatial Inequality is not a causality of development, but a result of how cities and regions are planned and governed and where resources and opportunities are allocated.
In South Africa the legacy of colonial and Apartheid planning have set patterns of spatial development that fundamentally remain in place today, but newer forms of spatial inequality are manifesting post-1994 along lines of gentrification, urban sprawl and housing/land access.
Typically, the most familiar forces shaping locational and spatial discrimination are considered to be class, race, religion, culture or gender.
Examples of areas/places in that demonstrate clear manifestations of Spatial Inequality
Gugulethu/Cape Town CBD (Cape Town)
Woodstock/Saltriver (Cape Town)
Maboneng/Jeppes Town (Johannesburg)
U.S.A: Chicago (South/North side)
India: Mumbai (Dharavi/Mumbai Suburbs)
Europe: Paris (Inner/Outer Core)
South America: Sao Paulo (Rocinho/Adjacent Neighborhoods)
Middle East: Palestine/Israel: WestBank Barrier
Unequal Scenes – Johnny Miller
Spatial Inequality Slide Show – Edgar Pieterse
Spatial Inequality – African Center for Cities
The Right to the City and Urban Resistance – David Harvey
Online Platform – Right to the City Alliance
Seeking Spatial Justice and the Right to the City – Edward Soja
Urban Equity in Development – Cities for Life – UN Habitat
Myambo, M. T. et al. (2018) Reversing Urban Inequality in Johannesburg. 1st edn, Reversing Urban Inequality in Johannesburg. 1st edn. Edited by M. T. Myambo. Johannesburg: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780429453304.
Turok, I. (2018) ‘Worlds Apart: Spatial Inequalities in South Africa’, Confronting Inequality: The South African crisis, (February), pp. 129–151. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331024691_Worlds_Apart_Spatial_Inequalities_in_South_Africa.
Harvey, D. (2009) Social Justice and the City. Revised. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press. Available at: https://books.google.co.za/books?hl=en&lr=&id=VCwLi2nVmooC&oi=fnd&pg=PA5&ots=RfCqIe11Z_&sig=D22HJxUgWDBydCbUgoxEhlpnWh4&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=fals.