"The "imported" urban planning constructs form part of a series of settle-ments that consistently display a direct and unmistakable influence from theVitruvian tradition. The main characteristics of these settlements also coin-cides with those settlements that came into being by means of the sameprinciples elsewhere in the world, for example, the Roman colonial cities,the bastides in Europe and some colonial cities in the New World founded un-der the Laws of the Indies plus other examples like Savannah and Philadel-phia.However, the southern African examples have been adapted to the unique lo-cal circumstance, namely, the exacting climatic conditions, landform andlocally available building materials, at the time of the colonisation of theinterior. These settlements played a key role in the colonisation process andtook place In a perceived--cultural "void" due to the colonisers total disre-spect of the African peoples.In this paper the research and analyses will be presented in the followingway:a) Defining, very briefly, the abstract and philosophical origins of the de-sign principles underpinning this type of settlement.b) Comparisons to other examples elsewhere in the world in space and time,andc) Focussing on the unique qualities of the selected case studies in southernAfrica emphasising the local adaptations and transformations that have oc-curred. The case studies selected are the central areas of Cape Town, Pieter-maritzburg, Potchefstroom and Pretoria, and Graff-Reinet. Morphologically this type of settlement is underpinned by a, seemingly,simple structure, but on closer scrutiny, it always reveals a high degree ofcomplexity and adaptability. This feature have enabled these settlements, intheir evolution, to each acquire a unique and differentiated form, resultingin each having an individual sense of place. These qualities have made it pos-sible for these settlements to withstand, in time, the many and varied pres-sures of urbanization, displaying an ability to cope with demands not envis-aged in the original concept. Thus, this ability to operate as resilientstructures for urban living underlines its importance as a valid mode to alsocope with the present realities and issues regarding urbanization in the de-veloping world.These settlements, like those developed under the Laws of the Indies and theGreek and Roman settlements before them (Crouch, Garr and Mundlgo1982) display a sybiotic and mutually reinforcing relationship between thesettlement and its region. The general simplicity of settlement structuremakes it possible through the process of local decision making by the"thousand designers" to create a high degree of complexity and uniqueness.Great similarity is found in the organising principles that govern the rela-tionships between functions and built form on the urban and architecturalscales. As a unit these settlements perform extremely well within the con-textual realities at the time of its founding and within the present realitiesof the developing world.From the positional statement, that within the developing world the urbanform should be relevant, realistic and viable, that qualitatively rich andhigh performance environments have to be created, that it must be resourceconscious and, lastly, that it should be seen as part of the broader develop-mental issues (Dewar 1979) the argument is put forward in this paper thatthis type of settlement performs exceptionally well within these goals andrealities. This argument will be briefly illustrated with recent project (theurbanization of approximately 100 000 people from the lowest income lev-els in the region within the timespan of one year) where myself, as a mem-ber of a team of consultants, was responsible for the design input.The main thrust of this paper will represent the most important features ofour research into the philosophical and conceptual origins of this type ofsettlement its "importation" into southern Africa, relatively recently (ap-proximately 150-200 years ago) when compared with the other New Worldexamples, the analyses of the local adaptations and transformations that haveoccurred and the possible contribution it can make as a model for the reali-ties of urbanization in the developing world.Due to the fact that this type of settlement has never been documented be-fore, analysed in terms of its underlying principles and performance as acontainer for urban life this paper will hopefully make a fundamental con-tribution to the field of urban history and the realities of coping with therealities of urbanisation in the developing world."