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Human settlements ‘Red Book’ available free online


The Guidelines for Human Settlement Planning and Design, also known as the ‘Red Book’ is now available free of charge on the CSIR website

The hard-copy version – two hefty ring-bound volumes – used to be sold by the CSIR for R720 to cover the printing costs. With the last printed stock depleted again, it has been decided to make it available online. “To ensure that the guidelines remain accessible to as many users as possible, the CSIR and the Department of Human Settlements agreed that the entire document can be downloaded from the web for free or ordered on CD (at R150),” explains Tinus Kruger of CSIR Built Environment.

“Under the patronage of the then National Department of Housing, the CSIR was responsible for coordinating the development of the Red Book,” comments Kruger. It was developed over a period of more than two years and while it was published already in 2000, it is still in demand by professionals in the human settlements planning and design arena. An updated version is planned within the next year or two.

“The Red Book provides performance-based guidelines for informed decision-making. The guidelines indicate the qualities that should be sought in South African settlements and provide practical advice on how these qualities can be achieved,” says Kruger.

The document not merely assists professionals in producing efficiently serviced townships, but also in creating sustainable and vibrant human settlements. “It is intended to be educative, providing ideas and useful information, and not as a substitute for innovative planning and engineering practice,” comments Kruger.

People who will find the book useful include architects, town planners, urban designers, engineers and developers in both the private and public sectors.

Volume 1 focuses primarily on planning issues, while volume 2 deals with engineering services.

Chapters cover the following topics:

Volume 1

  • Framework for settlement-making
  • Spatial and structural principles for settlement-making
  • Planning method and participation
  • Planning guidelines:
    • Movement networks
    • Public transport
    • Hard open spaces
    • Soft open spaces
    • Public facilities
    • Land subdivision
    • Public utilities
  • Cross-cutting issues:
    • Environmental design for safer communities
    • Fire safety
    • Ecologically sound urban development

Volume 2

  • Storm water management
  • Roads (geometric design, layout planning, materials and construction)
  • Water supply
  • Sanitation
  • Solid waste management
  • Energy

Orders may be placed with Lydia Sibanyoni. For technical enquiries, contact Tinus Kruger.

News contributed by: Hilda Van Rooyen ,CSIR Communication



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