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The Built Environment Library, one of the nine libraries of the University of Cape Town Libraries (UCT Libraries), forms an integral part of the teaching, learning and research support of the various programmes offered within the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics (APG), as well as the Department of Construction Economics and Management (CEM). The Library holds a vast collection of monograph, books, audiovisual material and periodicals relevant to the various programmes offered within the School. Through the Cape Library Consortium agreement, students also have access to library holdings at all the other tertiary educational institutions in the Western Cape. In addition, The Interlibrary Loans Department will source research materials that are not available at UCT Libraries from other libraries in South Africa or beyond. All APG staff and students may use this service. There is no cost for items obtained in South Africa.

The Library has a total collection of 20 345 items. Its holdings include monographs, books, print journals, print dissertations and theses as well as audiovisual material (DVDs, CDs & Slides). The Library has 1110 items relevant to the planning and development of populations and kinds of communities, e.g. urban communities, with a further 2237 items on specific levels and elements of area planning. UCT Libraries further offers extensive access to book and periodical in the fields of economics, sociology, politics, engineering, and the environment which are drawn on by students in the City and Regional Planning Programme.

The Library currently subscribes to more than 110 print and electronic periodical titles which were ordered on behalf of APG and CEM. Of this number, more than thirty (29) periodicals are directly relevant to Planning. In addition, the Library has access to more than 240 electronic periodicals pertaining to architectural and planning studies available from our electronic database packages, for example: Avery and Art & Architecture.

The Library has a small technical library which consists of student projects, trade literature as well as two dedicated workstations with geographic information system (GIS) data from the Cape Town Municipality. The data is of the City of Cape Town from 1998 until 2014. The data can be viewed using ArcGIS software installed on the computers. Students are encouraged to find and extract necessary data in the library and to manipulate the data using AutoCAD software available in the department computer labs. Tutorials for identification and extraction are on the computers’ desktops.