Original Research

Assessing the integration between disaster risk reduction and urban and regional planning curricula at tertiary institutions in South Africa

Tiana Koen, Christo Coetzee, Leandri Kruger, Karen Puren
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 20, No 1 | a1451 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v20i1.1451 | © 2024 Tiana Koen, Christo Coetzee, Leandri Kruger, Karen Puren | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 February 2024 | Published: 24 April 2024

About the author(s)

Tiana Koen, Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, African Centre for Disaster Studies, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Christo Coetzee, Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, African Centre for Disaster Studies, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Leandri Kruger, Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, African Centre for Disaster Studies, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Karen Puren, Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Abstract

Urban areas are increasingly being affected by more frequent and severe disasters. It has been argued in theory and international development policy that the integration of disaster risk reduction (DRR) within existing urban planning (UP) curricula would greatly benefit efforts to build resilient urban environments. However, the current status quo and progress of this crucial transdisciplinary integration in the South African University context remain unclear. Through the application of an exploratory mixed method research design, this article established that UP lecturers at South African universities have a good grasp of the theoretical need for the integration of DRR into existing curriculums and have also tentatively started to integrate DRR into some of their modules. However, because of challenges such as full curricula, financial and human resources constraints and integration predominantly happening on postgraduate level, integration has not occurred in sufficient depth while also missing the opportunity to expose the majority of the student cohort and future urban planners to much-needed DRR knowledge.

Transdisciplinary contribution: This article illuminates the current status of integration across and collaboration between DRR and UP at selected South African Universities.


Keywords

urban and regional planning; disaster risk reduction; urban planning; curriculums; transdisciplinary integration; universities; South Africa

JEL Codes

Q54: Climate • Natural Disasters and Their Management • Global Warming

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

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