IN-SITU UPGRADING

Below is a brief excerpt from each of the projects in this category. Click on the links or image to see the full project panel details and illustrations.

Besters Camp

Exhibitor: Harber & Associates

To appreciate ‘Bester’s Camp’ one has to revert back to the terrible race riots that erupted in Durban during January 1949. Africans and Indians were at loggerheads, mainly in Cato Manor, a mixed race, dense settlement of shacks behind Berea and only a few kilometres from the colonial CBD.

These upheavals gave the freshly installed National government a chance to systematically implement Apartheid planning. Africans were relocated to a new township, Kwa Mashu, to the north and Indians to Chatsworth in the south of the city. During the mid 70’s another Indian township, Phoenix was located further to the north. The wide space between these towns was left vacant, an empty condone sanitaire separating different race groups.

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eThekwini Municipality: Interim Services Programme

Exhibitor: eThekwini Municipality, Aurecon and Project Preparation Trust

Approximately a quarter of the eThekwini Municipality’s total population of roughly 3.5 million reside in informal settlements. Whilst the City can pride itself on a successful and large scale mass housing delivery programme, not all settlements can be provided with full services and low income housing in the short term due to funding and other constraints. Yet informal settlements face a range of basic challenges such as access to adequate sanitation, clean and safe energy and roads. As a result, a pro-active and broad based programme to provide a range of basic interim services to prioritized informal settlements within the Municipality was developed with a view to addressing a range of basic health and safety issues and delivering rapidly to as many settlements as possible instead of providing a high level of service to only a select few.

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Home Improvements

Exhibitor: Finmark Trust

As soon as a subsidy beneficiary moves into their new house, thoughts turn to how to make it home. Cashbuild estimates that 60% of new units are upgraded within 18 months of the household moving in. In some cases, it’s a new window, or a fence; in others the entire house may be engulfed in a new structure. This building is incremental, step-by-step, financed with savings, microloans and sometimes even formal bank finance. In situ upgrading of the government subsidised house.

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Kliptown Explored

Exhibitor: Monica Albonico and Lone Poulsen

Urban Design exists as the intersectional point between architecture , planning, urban geography, art and city management. Edgar Pieterse challenges urban practioners with the idea that, "a crucial focus of democratic practice should be spatially framed arguments for what the right to the city means".

In applying this concept and its relevance to the South African context, we argue that the commonality in terms of the language of urban design, must be able to be interpreted and understood by those who are engaging in the process. However, to add "quality to both process and producf, the outcomes, Pieterse indicates, has to "emerge out of a skillful articulation of urban struggles" for which "a broader repertoire of strategies and tactics are needed" that are unique to context and place. It is thus in our interest to explore and unpack the techniques and methodologies that make urban design a more relevant practice to unleash the potential benefits of urbanity.

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Lion Park

Exhibitor: Michael Hart Architects Urban Designers

The location of the site is within the Municipal District of the City of Johannesburg (Region Al. The site is situated north of Randburg and approximately 40 km North West of the Johannesburg CBD. The site is 39 Ha in extent and is bounded by the K29, Malibongwe Drive to the west, the N14 Freeway 10 the north, the R28 to the south and 6th road to the east.

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Bester's Camp

BESTER'S CAMP

eThekwini | 1990-current

Harber Masson & Associates
The Urban Foundation | Durban City Council

ORIGINS

To appreciate ‘Bester’s Camp’ one has to revert back to the terrible race riots that erupted in Durban during January 1949. Africans and Indians were at loggerheads, mainly in Cato Manor, a mixed race, dense settlement of shacks behind Berea and only a few kilometres from the colonial CBD.

These upheavals gave the freshly installed National government a chance to systematically implement Apartheid planning. Africans were relocated to a new township, Kwa Mashu, to the north and Indians to Chatsworth in the south of the city. During the mid 70’s another Indian township, Phoenix was located further to the north. The wide space between these towns was left vacant, an empty condone sanitaire separating different race groups.

A Pretoria based construction company, Bester Construction, were the main contractors for Phoenix. They set up a blockyard on this vacant land, on the city boundary. As the spatial control of Apartheid began to diminish in the 80’s the steep hillside behind became settled by a dense informal settlement of makeshift shacks known as ’Bester’s Camp’.

This is an account of how a problem has been transformed into an opportunity!

TAKING STOCK

The Informal Settlement Division of the Urban Foundation was encouraged by the Durban City Council to resolve the situation during the late 80’s. Harber Masson and Associates were commissioned to unravel the situation. In total contrast to contemporary township delivery with their modernist approach, focussed on delivery at volume, efficiency and minimal liaison with the future inhabitants, Bester’s Camp involved an on-going negotiation with residents that were already established, right on the edge of the city. Residents valued the advantage of being relatively well located on a springboard into the controlled city. To insert services it was initially recommended that ten per cent of the houses would have to be relocated elsewhere. They refused.

This presented an enormous challenge. The high densities and lack of adequate funding meant that an incremental approach had to be taken – a process and not a product. In-situ upgrading was the only viable approach. To convey this approach, large models were made to demonstrate the process, to demonstrate commitment and to engender communal ‘ownership’ of the proposal. The first entitled ‘NOW’ accurately recorded the existing situation on a large portion of the site to the extent that residents could identify their shelters. The next titled ‘SOON’ illustrated the ‘quick wins’ or envisaged short term interventions to consolidate the situation – public water kiosks, roadways, hardening of paths, steps and especially the storm water drainage lines. The final model ’EVENTUALLY’ illustrated a dense, multi storey settlement on steep cross falls to provide a vision of the future. Amalfi in Italy was provided as precedent!

The next step was to undertake a detailed survey of a sample of about seven per cent of the stock of informal structures to reveal prevalent problems and opportunities in the construction and to document how these may have been resolved within local cost and availability constraints.

Inappropriate detailing causing damp in mud walls was the most serious shortcoming. Guidelines were issued on the importance of overhangs, raising the internal floor level and digging away the rear banks, all gleaned for excellent local examples of tyre retaining walls, use of vegetation to stabilise banks, recycled components such as windows and various shuttering systems to form walls filled with inorganic waste. Jap panels, the local name for the plywood sides to crates from the Toyota assembly plant, were particularly revealing. Double storey houses were recorded built entirely of these, including the roofing. Here an acute awareness of the properties of materials was evident because plastic sheeting was draped over the top with a final sacrificial layer of Jap panels to protect it from deterioration from the sunlight.

It is remarkable how informative indigenous solutions can be. To this day Harber’s home in Durban has ceilings of Jap panels, recycled waste, at a fraction of the cost of a conventional solution.

Continued on Panel 2

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RODNEY HARBER

Bester's Camp (Panel 2)

Another component of this detailed investigation was to measure up all the building stock on one hectare ofland including the interior living arrangements. It was revealed that 28% of the land was already built on, very high for a relatively steep site and particularly high for a layout composing freestanding units. The average site size was only 104sqm!

Occupational density, the total area of habitable rooms/occupants is a keen indicator of overcrowding. Here it proved to be dangerously high at 6.33sqm per resident. Five square metres is generally accepted as the minimum but in this sample the lower quarter averaged 2sqm per person or less - little more than a bed - with the severest case at 1.3sqm. At this level it implied that all floors were covered by bedrolls at night with minimal privacy. The average shelter had six residents and 2.5 habitable rooms. Many rooms were very simply curtained for further privacy.

Interpolating these figures revealed a very high density of 436 people per hectare and a total population of up to 35000 residents. Importantly, pedestrian access was also an accepted norm.

CONSOLIDATION

By then , the block yard had ceased to exist, leaving a well secured vacant site for the city to acquire communal buildings. This presented a golden opportunity, and the space eventually housed central offices , a hall, library, primary school, market stalls and service depots. The Urban Foundation established offices there as well.

All sites were pegged and surveyed after a drawn out and laborious process of initially placing wooden pegs on all corners after mutual agreement be all neighbours, generally after office hours. This process sent a signal of potential security of tenure which resulted in a flurry of upgrading by residents themselves. Hygiene was an important consideration at such high densities. Since water still had 10 be carried to each site , waste water was generally spread onto the vegetation. Initially every site had a masonry, ventilated pit latrine built on the edge and lined up wherever possible for subsequent pipelines. Electricity was supplied via prepaid meters, from a forest of overhead wires on poles that generally also served as street lighting. This all brought about a profound transformation in living conditions.


THE BUILDING PROGRAMME

Funding eventually became available for each resident to have the equivalent of a 16sqm masonry room built onto their existing house or as a freestanding unit. The Urban Foundation devised a computer programme consisting of the names of approved beneficiaries and the subsidy amount credited to them. Thereafter local hardware shops tendered to provide packages of basic materials and to deliver them as close to sites as possible when called for. They had to allow for five such deliveries to each site. The materials would then be paid for monthly from the central fund and the allocation of each beneficiary reduced .

This unleashed a flurry of construction by local contractors who had their labour costs settled at agreed rates based on output. Owners could also draw down their allocation with materials to improve existing houses. Numerous 'building inspectors' were available to approve proposals in situ, offer advice and to approve payments. Once again this was a drawn out process which maximised possibilities of individuality, treating each beneficiary and site as a unique element.

LESSONS LEARNT

Due to community involvement, Bester's is a high density settlement with mainly pedestrian access, situated near a variety of public transportation links and, most importantly, is visually stimulating due to the variety of building solutions - with most of the elevations being visible due to the steep terrain. Sub-tropical vegetation also unifies the vista and consolidates the soil.

All this results from IN-SITU UPGRADING, a people-centred approach which searches for, and responds to , the unique characteristics of every site.

Two decades ago there were half a dozen housing delivery methods to respond to. Now we simply have RDP layouts and some social housing from the public domain. The reasons are clear compared to the Modernist paradigm which has subsequently gripped our housing delivery in South Africa. Straight lines, identical delivery at volume, full services, overall control , annual budgets and, ultimately, dissipated responsibilities. The model is Service, Build then Occupy.

This is inverted in In-situ Upgrading. To Occupy is paramount - inevitably in a good location. As security of tenure is perceived, the Build consolidation phase ensues followed by Service. Instant shelter! Consider the advantages of the building process alone. Dozens of small time , labour-only contractors have been set up and continue to operate in the surrounding areas.

Housing authorities shy away from this people centred approach because it is drawn out and never has a fixed exit date. Budgets are perceived to be problematic and it also involves tedious community involvement, after office hours! Grand control appears to be relinquished!

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RODNEY HARBER

Home Improvements

HOME IMPROVEMENTS

One Brick at a Time | Findings from the Visible Investment Survey

Finmark Trust

As soon as a subsidy beneficiary moves into their new house, thoughts turn to how to make it home. Cashbuild estimates that 60% of new units are upgraded within 18 months of the household moving in. In some cases, it’s a new window, or a fence; in others the entire house may be engulfed in a new structure. This building is incremental, step-by-step, financed with savings, microloans and sometimes even formal bank finance. In situ upgrading of the government subsidised house.

In 2010, the FinMark Trust, with support from Urban LandMark, the National Department of Human Settlements, the South African Cities Network, the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements and the FB Heron Foundation, undertook a study into the performance of government subsidised housing units. The study included a visual investment survey, in which the process and extent of home improvements was explored in three governmentsubsidised housing settlements: Slovoville, in Soweto, Gauteng; Emaplazini, in Inanda, KwaZulu Natal; and Thembalethu, in George, Western Cape. All of these settlements are more than ten years old.


The settlements

Slovoville (Soweto, Gauteng) was one of the first subsidy developments in Soweto and was built in the late 1990’s. It has approximately 1600 subsidy houses. Most beneficiaries came from Soweto and went through a long politically driven process of attending weekly meetings until they secured their subsidy houses. The area was officially opened by Mr Nelson Mandela.

Emaplazini (Inanda, Kwazulu Natal) is a subsidy development built in Inanda on a mountainous area. It has approximately 1000 houses. Beneficiaries squatted on farmland for many years and government bought the land from the farmers in the late 1990’s. A community organization was formed to negotiate a people’s housing process development. Interested community members participated in the organization by contributing 50 cents per day to a savings plan – over time, this led to their being able to build 4-bedroomed houses, which they paid for over a 5-year period. Those community members that did not participate in the community savings plan received subsidy houses.

Thembalethu (George, Western Cape) was developed in the late 1990’s, early 2000’s in a township close to George. It has approximately 5000 houses. The allocation of subsidy houses focused on informal settlement dwellers in Thembalethu. Other beneficiaries moved from the Eastern Cape and other rural areas in the Western Cape to try and find work in George or surrounding areas.

Findings

The majority of houses in the three settlements had been improved upon. More than 95% of houses in Slovoville and Thembalethu showed some form of investment. In Emaplazini, 77% showed some form of investment.

The majority of houses had a small investment in the form of plaster, paint, porch, burglar bars, shack or wire fence. The estimated value of this investment is less than the value of the original subsidy house. A significant number of houses had investments that looked as though they would have doubled, or more than doubled the value of the original subsidy house. The extent of this varied across the areas but it is most significant in Slovoville where over half (52%) had medium, big or very big investments. This is lower in Thembalethu (27%) and Emaplazini (28%). In all the areas there was some indication that investment is planned, with stockpiled building materials visible from the street.

The study found that investments seemed to be independent of the surrounding environment, and not as a result of state or private sector investment in the area. Respondents suggested that their motivation for making investments arose from the scarcity of other, more suitable housing. In the absence of a formal housing market catering for their specific needs, they needed to improve their housing incrementally. In some ways, therefore, home improvements are an informal response to housing supply constraints – households opt to extend or otherwise improve their housing because the market is not supplying any other form of affordable housing. In each of the neighbourhoods studied, and indeed across South Africa, the once uniform neighbourhoods of RDP housing side-by-side are now showing tremendous diversity in house type and form. A well-invested 4-bedroom house can be found in between two original subsidy houses that have been left untouched. Subsidy houses with no investment can be found on tarred roads, and subsidised houses transformed into mansions can be found on gravel roads. There is no format or pattern. There are no ‘wealthy streets’ and ‘poor streets’.

Continued on Panel 2

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FINMARK TRUST

Home Improvements (Panel 2)

Case study | The joy of investing into a subsidy house

Jeanette and her husband Lumic relocated from Graff Reinet to George in 1992 searching for better job prospects. In 1979 Lumic put his name on a housing list for a site. In 1993 they moved onto their site, which had a toilet and built a 4-roomed bungalow made of wood planks to live in. There was no electricity supply or running water. Finally in 1995 they moved their bungalow to a different part of the property and for three weeks watched as their subsidy house was finally constructed. They received the Title Deed to their property a few months after the house was completed.

In 2010, Jeanette and Lumic decided to remodel and improve their house. They took two personal loans from Standard Bank and First National Bank for R30 000, and then used another R25 000 of their own savings to finance the construction. Lumic is a full time employee of the Coca-Cola Company; he needed his pay-slip, ID document and bank statements to acquire the loan. Jeanette is a member of a stokvel. Although the building materials were bought incrementally, the remodeling of the house was completed in three weeks during February 2010.

The current house will be inherited by their youngest son thus they will never consider selling the house. The son currently occupies the original wooden bungalow they lived in before their subsidy house was built. As a family, they enjoy the freedom and independence that comes with being homeowners.

Case study | The story of a 35m2 starter house

The respondent we interview describes herself as a woman who has more faith in the dreams she has in the daytime. “You can’t trust the dreams you have at night when you are sleeping”.

There is no telling what her dreams were when she went to write her name on the housing waiting list or when, at the community meetings, the older men teased her suggesting she was too young to own a house thus would not qualify. However, regardless of her youthful looks, she was a single mother earning less than R 3500 per month and qualified to be among the first (along with the elderly) to be allocated a new home. Now her property boasts the original subsidised house, a container from which she runs a spaza shop, and two formally built backyard rooms, all with formal ablutions.

Patience moved to Slovoville in 1997. However, for nine years she continued to work in Silvertown faithfully making the commute each day. She also sold sweets during this time using the additional income to supplement the extra transportation costs that accompanied the move to her new RDP home. An inspiring story unfolds to reveal sheer determination, strength of character and hard work.

The rooms and spaza shop are both projects that were completed incrementally and yet they both grew simultaneously alongside the other. The rooms, needing much more capital than the spaza, and were built with a combination of stokvel savings, micro loans, building materials from Builder’s Warehouse and leaps of faith. The rental she received allowed her to take on an additional micro loan to build up her business and buy stock for the spaza shop. And the green container, on the other hand, is what she used to turn it into a spaza shop and sell small grocery items to her neighbours. She sees herself as having no other option in pursuing this avenue because she fears she will not find a job elsewhere. She hopes her efforts will leave an indelible impression on her daughters.

Today she is well respected among her peers, family and neighbours and especially her customers- the children who come and buy from her spaza shop. Her entrepreneurial spirit is inspiring. It has led her to take on financial risk with the micro loans she has acquired to establish a spaza shop and built the backyard rooms, which now house two tenants.

The study raises some important questions: With so much investment by subsidy beneficiaries themselves, how much state investment is enough – and is it possible that the current investment by the state is too much? Might the housing standard we seek not be a function of time, rather than something that needs to be predetermined by policy? And how can policy support enhanced investment by individuals themselves, saving the investment by the state to spread its limited resources across a wider beneficiary population?
“An RDP house is a starter house, made for people who don’t work, but now have the opportunity to improve their lives.”
“An RDP house gives you the opportunity to use your mind and brains to make decisions for you and your family.”
“It is a shelter that gives you space to think and freedom to plan the future.”
“It is a start. It is one small thing, but this thing I like very much.”

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FINMARK TRUST

Kliptown Explored



KLIPTOWN EXPLORED

Evolving realities for Infill and In-situ Upgrading Kliptown . Soweto . Johannesburg. 2010 I 2011

Consultants: Albonico Sack Metacity (ASM) Architects & Urban Designers; ACG Architects & Development Planners
Research Project

Urban Design exists as the intersectional point between architecture , planning, urban geography, art and city management. Edgar Pieterse challenges urban practioners with the idea that, "a crucial focus of democratic practice should be spatially framed arguments for what the right to the city means".

In applying this concept and its relevance to the South African context, we argue that the commonality in terms of the language of urban design, must be able to be interpreted and understood by those who are engaging in the process. However, to add "quality to both process and producf, the outcomes, Pieterse indicates, has to "emerge out of a skillful articulation of urban struggles" for which "a broader repertoire of strategies and tactics are needed" that are unique to context and place. It is thus in our interest to explore and unpack the techniques and methodologies that make urban design a more relevant practice to unleash the potential benefits of urbanity.

Distribution of resources, growing economies and the hope of a better life draw more and more people to the cities every year. As a result of the shortage of adequate and available shelter, people occupy vacant land and erect shacks in areas without sanitation, infrastructure or any social amenities. In order to move forward , and provide the much needed housing and services to these millions of people, a new and innovative design approach must be adopted. Housing programmes which provide a diverse number of solutions, each specific to context and needs and the promotion of integration at city and neighbourhood scale, are critical. An emphasis on upgrading, with a focus on sustainable development as opposed to eradication, is a means of providing people with the services and shelter that is needed.

Upgrading is to be looked at as a process towards the delivery of appropriate housing, and an opportunity to transform informal settlements into liveable communities. The principals of informal settlement upgrading are based in integration and innovation, and an urban design framework which emphasises quality and sustainable living environments.

There is currently a programme engaging in the upgrade of informal settlements. It poses a challenge as to how to engage in a constructive and innovative way to incorporate , integrate, improve and engage in forward planning to assist in bettering the conditions of about 17% of our urban population.

Our proposition is an inquiry into how to develop appropriate techniques in responding to the particular environments and expectations of communities living within a condition of informality. The aim is to create more liveable , sustainable and resilient cities that can respond to the changing needs of a growing urban population, as well as developing a more bottom-up approach to urban governance and decision making.

To build an alternative future we need to free ourselves from preconceived ideas and move decisively towards multiple innovative possibilities.

Kliptown has long fallen between administrative zones and official concerns as an interstitial space in which natural buffers, dissecting railway lines and wide arterial roads have form barriers dividing the district, offering few safe pedestrian routes and isolated blocks of neglected land.

Kliptown was deliberately chosen as the site for the signing of The Freedom Charter in 1956 because it fell between jurisdictions and different designated Group Areas, which consequently enabled a diverse gathering of "the people”.

The exhibition work explores an urban design framework for Kliptown which consolidates existing development with catalytic projects, alternative designs for medium density housing and in-situ informal settlement upgrading into one coherent neighbourhood. The framework acknowledges and builds upon the history and heritage of the area, to ensure that each development enhances and contributes to build a coherent whole , and anticipates the future.

Urban design translates the process into spatial interventions that facilitate traditional practices, current livelihoods, and future aspirations. The product is an urban design framework that guides development decisions, frames interventions, is supportive of the everyday and the celebratory but is flexible enough to enable future change.

Continued on Panel 2

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MONICA ALBONICO AND LONE POULSEN

Kliptown Explored (Panel 2)

KLIPTOWN EXPLORED

Working towards Integrated Human Settlement Upgrade Kliptown . Soweto . Johannesburg . 2009 I 2010

Consultants: Urban Dynamics, Albonico Sack Metacity (ASM) Architects & Urban Designers, with Cohen Judin Architects
Funders: Urban Dynamics I CoJ Housing Department (JDA)t

The Urban Design Framework and development guidelines produced by the architectural and urban design team coordinated by Urban Dynamics, developed a programme for the total upgrading of the greater Kliptown area. The approach was to produce an integrated turnkey strategy per precinct to inform the formulation of the business plan for the consolidation and upgrading of the area. The aim was to provide a planned guide to the housing delivery process, fully utilise the in-fill potential of available plots around the heritage housing stock, expand the range of low-rise medium density housing options , offer mixed-use opportunities where possible, and through an incremental process, consolidate the area by providing adequate new accommodation for all.

In recognizing the complex network of social relationships and urban responses that have developed in this constrained environment, the urban interventions proposed by the framework are intended to patch up together these fragile urban living patterns. Integration will take place through a series of components and bring together under-utilised local schools and threatened commercial strips, with local extended pedestrian routes, civic squares and public facilities. The elements bringing the different precincts together are the pedestrian ribbon , new and improved bridges and a system of squares and places for social and economic interaction, and the creation of a new housing pattern which is weaved into the existing landscape- a patchwork with overlapping strips, and seams of connectivity across it's previously frayed edges.

Urban Design Principles
The framework promotes: Compact urban living + varied & site specific housing typologies + the use of shared/communal spaces + the introduction of landscaping & productive gardens.

Urban Design Framework & Housing Typologies Development
Housing typology studies were carried out by six architectural firms working in collaboration 10 provide housing types responding to the principles and objectives contained in the Urban Design Framework developed by ASMI Cohen & Judin.

The overriding urban design principles explored in the alternative typologies were:

  1. Encourage the development of mixed-use buildings along main movement routes.
  2. Introduce a range of housing solutions specific to individual needs.
  3. Improve the connectivity between precincts.
  4. Encourage the construction and upgrading of businesses along Union street and around the station.

The vision is the provision of appropriate housing and accessibility to the city for all the residents of Kliptown who are currently living in the informal settlements, while still retaining the socio-economic network through:

  1. Connectivity - Establish and reinforce multiple pedestrian connections.
  2. Sustainability - Economic and environmental
  3. Live-ability - Improvement of public and private environments.

The brief was to develop housing typologies for the specific designated precinct in Kliptown . The work was conducted in the form of 2 Charreltes where the initial conceptual proposals were then developed, costed and their viability tested.

The Architectural Practices initially prepared a conceptual response to the brief that included a precinct layout indicating block layouts, roads and site subdivisions to accommodate the proposed housing typologies. The brief did not include detailed financial costing or the necessary process of community participation and feedback..

The approach to this development is rooted in the belief that every neighbourhood is unique; culturally, socially and environmentally, and the housing programme must fit its context. The mass housing approach promulgated by the RDP programme is perpetuating the ineffectiveness of the already severely compromised urban system. It is therefore important that we begin to imagine new possibilities through direct engagement with the realities shaping people's lives, and accept that informality is "just a way" to access the opportunities of urban living.

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MONICA ALBONICO AND LONE POULSEN

Lion Park


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LION PARK

Integrated Mixed-Use Housing Development, Johannesburg 2009

Design Consultant: Michael Hart Architects . Urban Designers
Client: Gauteng Local Government and Housing

Locality

The location of the site is within the Municipal District of the City of Johannesburg (Region Al. The site is situated north of Randburg and approximately 40 km North West of the Johannesburg CBD. The site is 39 Ha in extent and is bounded by the K29, Malibongwe Drive to the west, the N14 Freeway 10 the north, the R28 to the south and 6th road to the east.

Contextual Analysis

The people of Lion Park live a rural lifestyle. Makeshift shacks crammed orderly into urban blocks that are separated and shaped by eroded paths. Service infrastructure is limited 10 ventilated pit latrines and shared water sources. Residents currently grow a limited amount of vegetables and herd cattle. In order to Cleate meaningful change the urban environment must facilitate for lifestyle change, access to facilities, infrastructure, economic development and healthy environments.

An Urban Design Approach

The Urban Design methodology proposes a multi-pronged approach where the Social, Economic, Environmental , Design and Engineering (SEEDE) criteria are managed within a parallel process of analysis, review, consultation , and implementation. The outcome is to create an Integrated City. This is fundamental in achieving the aims of rectifying the inefficiencies that have plagued housing developments for low income communities.

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Identified communities shall benefit from the social and public investment through being able to access economic opportunities. This shall enable mixed-use residential districts to develop over time into socially and economically sustainable neighbourhoods.

The development shall create environments that are liveable, vibrant, secure and affordable. Lion Park shall create access for private and public transportation with comfortable, safe pedestrian routes. The development approach favours public transportation and non-motorised transport as opposed to a vehicle-based approach .

The framework strives for an Integrated Compact City form that will enhance positive public spaces, essential services including; health , education, emergency services and safety.

Residential densities shall be achieved through the implementation of a variety of housing typologies. These typologies shall take into consideration the mobile and incremental nature of communities. The demographic make-up of new and existing families moving into urban areas will present differing needs. Family size and levels of affordability shall be catered for within various forms of tenure. This may require the need for a flexible design approach.

Points of Departure

  • Common agreement in decision making
  • Principles to guide decision making
  • Statement of priorities
  • Programme of design, planning, approvals, specialist studies and implementation and phasing
  • Channels of communication and Accountability

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Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Livelihoods

The task of developing physical frameworks as a methodology to improving lifestyles requires a strategy for poverty alleviation through economic development. The methodology shall include education and training , financial and social resources.

Economic Development

  • Economic development of the local community must be assessed in terms of current economic activity , skills and entrepreneurship
  • The inability to compete with the formal economy means that other forms of economies shall be identified.
  • Lack of appropriate business faci lities. technology, communication and knowledge must be made available.
  • The location of the development could offer competitive advantages of being located in close proximity to the Kya Sands Industrial node and the Lanseria Airport Development.
  • The major transport arterials flank the site with direct access for passing trade and direct linkages to major centres.
  • The proposed development will offer commercial, retail and trading facilities for traders within the formal and informal sectors.
  • The opportunities of waste to energy business practices are available as start up businesses. (Waste collection and sorting, recycling, crafts, composting, urban agriculture and building material manufacture.)

Continued on Panel 2

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MICHAEL HART ARCHITECTS URBAN DESIGNERS

Lion Park (Panel 2)

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LION PARK

Integrated Mixed-Use Housing Development

 

Key Strategic Objectives:

Movement assessment: Access 10 and from the site is via the provincial network of Gauleng. Roads bounding the site are currently undergoing upgrade to cope with traffic flows.
Public Transportation (SRT) has no current implementation plans to the location of Lion Park.

Activity Spines: Access to economic development and a vibrant urban environment will necessitate for planned activity spines. The activity spines will create competitiveness between SSME's by facilitating access to premises, trading stalls, finance and support,Activity spines and related business opportunities shall be placed close 10 public transport hubs and link activity nodes.
Transport Orientated Development: Taxi ranks shall support mixed use centres and be located centrally to allow for ease of walking for commuters.

Pedestrian friendly environment: Precincts shall encourage pedestrian movement. High density low rise row housing grouped along narrow roads creates a sense of place within the public street. Public amenities and public open space within a core of RDP housing will offer ease of pedestrian access.



Design of Streets: The design of streets is seen as cri tical to the success of 'place making'. Streets within neighbourhoods of small houses become spaces for living. Social space for children to play and encourage interaction between neighbours. The pedestrian orientated roads open into public courts, parks and squares. The Woonerf concept of road ways shared with public active spaces adds variety and excitement to a backdrop of simple buildings. Building on corners emphasise the openings into streets with corners occupied by different uses such as a corner shop . Neighbourhood streets shall be planted with trees, defining edges and creating shaded canopies. Seating and threshold spaces off streets define privacy gradients into houses and public buildings.

Mixed-Use Nodes: It is envisioned that mixed use nodes become the core to each precinct. The civic node will include civic! municipal buildings, transport rank, public square, informal and formal trading with a residential component on first floor level.
Community nodes within the re sidential precincts will contain centrally placed parks that are defined with flanking social and community buildings with small convenient shopping. Parks will become shared with churches, clinics, community centres and row housing.Mixed uses encourage a work live environment encouraging convenient pedestrian movement between uses.
The dignity for low income communities to inhabit positive urban environments with safe well designed public space and amenities within the neighbourhood will ensure an ownership and pride of place.

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Urban Morphology

The proposed development is bounded by provincial roads to the west and the south. The existing wetlands to the north define the developments northern edge.

Natural features
The Ecological and Wetland Assessment encompasses the following: • Red Data Species evaluation;' Identification of all plant communities on site; • Site evaluation in terms of potential sensitive habitat; • Delineation of the wetland;

Challenges
To ensure that development takes place in an environmentally sustainable including that the basic environmental condition of the site are part of the development process.

Rehabilitation
Where informal housing infringes on the wetland area, this housing will have to be removed and the area will have to be rehabilitated to retain its wetland functionality.

Accessibility
It is recommended that natural open areas be retained creating and protecting a public open space system, with corridors linking areas of natural vegetation to promote rehabilitation of natural vegetation and minimise further disturbance.

Safety
The open space system including the wellands needs to be safe for people to use. Visibility, surveilance and comunity policing of the open spaces will reduce criminal activity. Encourage activities to occur at the edges of the wetland to safe guard against desolation, dumping and detruction.

Diversity of adjoining uses
The possible use of the 30m buffer strip around the wetland should be used for activities such as playgrounds, sporting activities, cultural activities, and ecologically related activities such as bird hides and places of educational instruction.

- click images to see larger version -

Connectivity
It is envisioned that raised timber boardwalks be installed in areas that encourage connection across parts of the wetland. This will ensure that the area is active and that ecological awareness is encouraged.

Ecological sustainability
The urban environment will be enhanced by this natural resource. Indigenous vegetation will attract bird life and
ensure protection for endangered species of grass and trees.

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MICHAEL HART ARCHITECTS URBAN DESIGNERS

eThekwini Municipality: Interim Services Programme

ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY: INTERIM SERVICES PROGRAMME

Overview

Approximately a quarter of the eThekwini Municipality’s total population of roughly 3.5 million reside in informal settlements. Whilst the City can pride itself on a successful and large scale mass housing delivery programme, not all settlements can be provided with full services and low income housing in the short term due to funding and other constraints. Yet informal settlements face a range of basic challenges such as access to adequate sanitation, clean and safe energy and roads. As a result, a pro-active and broad based programme to provide a range of basic interim services to prioritized informal settlements within the Municipality was developed with a view to addressing a range of basic health and safety issues and delivering rapidly to as many settlements as possible instead of providing a high level of service to only a select few.

The interim services provided consist mainly of: a basic road and footpath network with storm-water controls, communal sanitation blocks (or urine diversion units where bulk sewers are unavailable), and electrical connections to shacks. Basic water supply has mostly already been addressed through the provision of standpipes. Livelihoods initiatives, local economic development and the provision of key social facilities are addressed through parallel programmes.

Ablution Facilities
The installation of ablution facilities to informal settlements was initiated by eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS) in January 2009, with the aim of providing basic waterborne sanitation to Informal Settlements, thereby addressing EWS’ backlog of sanitation for all as per the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. Each communal facility consists of two converted containers (one for males and one for females with showers, toilets, hand-basins and an external wash trough.

The settlements are located throughout eThekwini which covers an area of approximately 2300km2. One facility is provided for approximately every 75 informal dwellings within a 250m radius, ensuring, where possible, that the facilities can be incorporated into the eThekwini Unit’s future formalisation of reticulation within the InformalSettlement and surrounding catchment areas. Phase one is a three year programme from January 2009 to end December 2011.

In support of the principles of eThekwini Municipality’s Targeted Procurement Policy and the principles of Broad Based Economic Empowerment, a similar selection process to that of the Main Contractors was followed in respect of the selection of Emerging Contractors, via the advertisement of Expressions of Interest, to work in conjunction with the large Contractors thus completing the team, with Aurecon as the Programme Manager. As this project was aligned with the Expanded Public Works Programme, all necessary reporting was administered on a monthly basis and the employment opportunities are tabulated below:

  Men Women Youth Men Youth Women Total
Accumulated to Project end 912 306 1,480 506 3,204

As at October 2010, in excess of 180 container sites have been constructed and approximately 100 more are expected to be complete by December 2011. Phase two of the Sanitation Project was advertised for public tender in October 2010 and the newly selected teams are expected to begin in January 2012 to address the outstanding informal settlements. The proposed budget to complete this work is approximately R900 million, the funding coming from EWS and Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG). This would fund approximately 3,000 more ablution sites.

Caretakers are identified from the local community and routine maintenance is carried out by EWS. In addition to Informal Settlements, the project has now expanded to include the provision of sanitation facilities to Transit Facilities in eThekwini with an approximate 100 sites selected for completion in 16 Transit Facilities by the end of December 2011.

EWS is also acting as an Implementing Agent for the Department of Education (DOE), providing water and sanitation facilities to schools in the Umlazi and Pinetown District areas including capital and maintenance projects. As at October 2010, this project addressed the needs of 35 schools, with further schools to be addressed as budget is provided by the DOE.

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ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY, AURECON AND PROJECT PREPARATION TRUST

eThekwini Municipality: Interim Services Programme (Panel 2)

ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY: INTERIM SERVICES PROGRAMME

Pilot Projects

Preliminary Precinct-level Master Plans
Preliminary master plans were developed for each of the informal settlement precincts in which the seven targeted pilot projects were located in order to ensure that development occurs in a spatially coherent fashion and that the precincts become integrated with the rest of the City. The plans defined main movement corridors and activity nodes and enabled the prioritisation of those roads most critical from an urban development perspective. They will also inform more effective provision of key social facilities such as fire and police stations, clinics, schools, sportsfields and community halls.

Overview of Roads and Footpaths
An acceptable interim Level of Service in respect of Roads, Footpaths and Storm-water Drainage was established with the various City line departments in order to make effective use of the limited budget currently available. The following factors were taken into consideration in designing the network:

  • Where possible, to provide access into the settlements for Emergency Services (e.g. Fire, Ambulance) and Durban Solid Waste for solid waste removal.
  • To ensure that the maximum gradient for Fire Fighting trucks was not exceeded.
  • Pavement layers consisting of gravel roads, single seal chip and spray or slurry seal were not acceptable as they would lead to short term maintenance being necessary.
  • All roads are designed and constructed in line with appropriate engineering codes and practises and in conjunction with their access hierarchy.
  • Allowance was to be made for turning heads and passing facilities.

Overview of Electricity Implementation

  • Electrical infrastructure is funded/subsidized by the Department of Energy.
  • Once roads and footpaths are built, it takes an average of two months for the design and a further two months for installation for a development of 200 sites.
  • Aggressive marketing ensures that customers are informed on site about the application process, requirements for electrical connections and the benefits of legal connections as opposed to illegal connections especially with regards to safety and power outages.

Status of Road Implementation
To date, the eThekwini Municipality has authorized the implementation of 3km of roads and 3.5km of footpaths with accompanying storm-water controls in three informal settlements (Kenville, Redcliffe and Greylands) comprising over 3800 households, and has successfully completed two of the projects at the end of August 2011. Labour as well as Community Liaison Officers were sourced from the local communities. The use of local businesses to provide materials and security services was encouraged, stimulating small business development and ensuring that the local economy benefited where possible. A further four informal settlements (Lower Malukazi, Dassenhoek D, Umlazi MX1 and Umlazi Peace Valley) are currently being designed and construction is programmed to commence in 2012.

Sustainable Livelihoods Programme
A Sustainable Livelihoods Programme was incorporated to build stronger community responsibility and ‘self-help’ as well as to facilitate a better relationship between the urban poor and the Municipality. Practical action plans were developed by local residents with the aim of empowering them to play a more effective role in a range of spheres such as special needs (e.g. home based care, crèches and HIV Aids), informal enterprise and food security. This also assisted to identify and define opportunities for community based maintenance and more effective emergency responses (e.g. relating to fire protection).

Going Forward
Informal settlements have been grouped together into logical ‘clusters’ or precincts in order to enable more effective and sustainable urban planning. A preliminary precinct-level master plan (as per the pilot projects) will be developed for each of the remaining precincts to ensure that future road networks conform to a logical longterm urban development plan and do not conflict with layout plans for future housing delivery.

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ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY, AURECON AND PROJECT PREPARATION TRUST