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Lion Park

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Integrated Mixed-Use Housing Development, Johannesburg 2009

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


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.)

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