The Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF)

The Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) is government’s policy position to guide the future growth and management of urban areas. In the economic history of humanity, urbanisation has always been an accelerator of growth and development, bringing about enormous changes in the spatial distribution of people and resources, and in the use and consumption of land. Supporting policies and frameworks are therefore needed that can leverage the urbanisation process for increased development gains and sustainability.


The IUDF’s overall outcome – spatial transformation – marks a New Deal for South African cities and towns, by steering urban growth towards a sustainable growth model of compact, connected and coordinated cities and towns. Informed by this outcome and the NDP’s vision for urban South Africa, the IUDF aims to guide the development of inclusive, resilient and liveable urban settlements, while directly addressing the unique conditions and challenges facing South Africa’s cities and towns. Importantly, this vision for South Africa’s urban areas recognises that the country has different types of cities and towns, each with different roles and requirements. As such, the vision has to be interpreted and pursued in differentiated and locally relevant ways. To achieve this transformative vision, four overall strategic goals are introduced:


  • Spatial integration: To forge new spatial forms in settlement, transport, social and economic areas.
  • Inclusion and access: To ensure people have access to social and economic services, opportunities and choices.
  • Growth: To harness urban dynamism for inclusive, sustainable economic growth and development.
  • Governance: To enhance the capacity of the state and its citizens to work together to achieve spatial and social integration.


These strategic goals inform the priority objectives of the nine policy levers, which are premised on the understanding that (1)  integrated urban planning forms the basis for achieving integrated urban development, which follows a specific sequence of urban policy actions: (2) integrated transport that informs (3) targeted investments into integrated human settlements, underpinned by (4) integrated infrastructure network systems and (5) efficient land governance, which all together can trigger (6)  economic diversification and inclusion, and (7) empowered communities; all of the above will demand effective (8) governance and (9) financial reform to enable and sustain these policy actions. The levers thus seek to address in combination the structural drivers that maintain the status quo.