At the Western Cape Human Settlements budget vote speech on 26 March 2019, minister Bonginkosi Madikizela provided a summary of the the department’s plans for current and future housing projects in Cape Town and the rest of the Western Cape. Notably, this included plans for future mixed-income housing within Cape Town’s City Bowl.
These mixed development projects include houses for the indigent, gap housing, rental units, social housing and serviced stands, and total 144 798 new units. As well as providing housing for lower income groups, the province’s goal is also to ensure integration of different income groups within Cape Town.
Cape Town City Bowl
Bokaap, Oranjezicht, Tamboerskloof and CBD
Mixed income, mixed use and different tenure (…) of extra-ordinary high density.
Various sites of around 8.4ha
Areas surrounding Cape Town International Airport
Informal settlements along the N2 – namely, Barcelona, Gxa Gxa, Vukuzenzela, Kanana, Kosovo, Thabo Mbeki, Tsunami, Lusaka, and Europe
The project aims to upgrade informal settlements along the N2, ensuring that residents (including backyard dwellers) benefit.
Various informal settlements
Contracts awarded and construction underway
Plumstead, Ottery and Ferness Estate, Lotus River, Parkwood and Ottery East, Seawinds and Vrygrond, Lavender Hill and Steenberg, Retreat, Grassy Park and Cafda
The #cocreateDESIGN Festival an initiative by the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Africa, is a platform for South African and Dutch counterparts to exchange innovations for a sustainable future. The 2019 edition, held at the V&A Waterfront on the 25th-26th of February, focused on resilient communities and citizen-led solutions.
Watch a presentation outline the curator statement here.
Watch all the lectures at the #cocreateDESIGN FESTIVAL-2019 Conference. here.
The festival welcomed over 20 speakers, 7 workshops, 2 films and over 300 participants. The two keynote lectures were presented by Ifeoma Ebo, Director of Strategic Design Initiatives at the New York Mayor’s Office and Amira Osman, Professor of Architecture at Tshwane University of Technology.
Best practices from New York City on building community capacity
#cocreateDESIGN FESTIVAL | Ifeoma Ebo, Director of Strategic Design Initiatives at NY Mayor’s Office - YouTube
Ifeoma Ebo’s talk looked at best practices from New York City on building community capacity to activate neighborhood spaces, strengthen social networks and co-create strategies for community resilience to crime and cultural erasure (gentrification).
Ebo discussed the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighbourhood Safety, focusing on examples from low-income communities in Brownsville and Red Hook. Ebo is passionate about social infrastructure – particularly the third spaces (neither work nor home) where communities interact. Ebo’s work at the Mayor’s Office focuses on identifying and solving the stressors which are the root cause of crime and violence in these communities.
According to Ebo only if all these majors stressors are effectively dealt with, can a space be truly safe.
Through the Action Plan, city experts work together with local communities to address concerns related to crime and violence – the idea being that communities should be empowered to develop their own strategies to activate public spaces, as they know their communities best. The Action Plan focus is placed on capacity building, teaching communities about crime prevention through environmental design and place-making. The work also includes teaching people how to do community mapping to develop effective action plans.
Belmont Ave, the main street near a large public housing development in Brownsville. The road had fallen into urban decay, with failing businesses and high crime at night. Ebo’s unit partnered with a local cafe to liven the area in the evenings – installing a parklet for roadside seating, and organising jazz performances in the evenings.
Another Brownsville project involved converting a vacant lot into a teen centre made with shipping containers – giving students a safe space to hang out after school.
Developing a ‘Manifesto’ for black urbanists and community leaders to preserve their heritage and fight gentrification and cultural erasure.
Helping to install public WiFi in the geographically-isolated community of Red Hook – connecting local businesses and communities
Resilience thinking for the next generation of designers
#cocreateDESIGN FESTIVAL | Amira Osman, Prof of Architecture at Tshwane University of Technology - YouTube
Amira Osman’s talk focused on educating future architects and built environment professionals to be able to understand the diverse needs and challenges faced by vulnerable communities and the power of design to address socio-economic conditions in the context of South Africa. Osman emphasised that solutions must serve everyone, rich and poor, and that isolated decision-making strategies are problematic.
Osman’s philosophy focuses on open building, involving long-term partnerships with communities and working with locals artists and artisans, and skills and materials proximate to the site. Osman emphasised that greater equality is essential for community resilience, challenging urban professionals working in Africa to be more imaginative and innovative with their solutions. A future Africa influenced by Wakanda, with glass and steel towers is not an inclusive, feasible solution in the African context.
Nothing presented in South Africa has ever been as powerful as what the Apartheid planners suggested. We need to re-imagine African cities as liveable, loveable cities… Innovative design plans are essential as participation is not about what people want, as designs are experientially determined.
Osman concluded by inviting delegates to join to :
explore the concepts of participation in a deeper way
explore how to understand resilience in terms of design and how to bring more voices into the design process
explore how to build buildings that have inherent, built-in capacity for change – buildings that are lovable and resonate with many people over time and
explore how to extend professional services to all
PROJECT : The Peninsula, $300 million mixed-use affordable housing project
We learnt from the Public Design Commission about the transformation of a former Bronx juvenile prison site into a $300 million mixed-use development which will bring 740 affordable housing units.
The proposal by developers Gilbane Development Company, the Hudson Companies, and Mutual Housing Association of New York’s was selected. Under their plan, and with the design services of WXY architecture + urban design and Body Lawson Associates, the five-acre site will give way to 740 units of affordable housing, 52,000 square feet of open and recreational space, 49,000 square feet of light industrial space, 48,000 square for community facilities, and 21,000 square feet of retail space.
POLICIES : Improving the affordable housing application process
We met with the director of the Public Policy Lab who are redesigning services to help New Yorkers better understand how to apply for affordable housing. They found that “more than half the applicants for a particular development to be ineligible for the unit they were applying for” and developed a set of new informational materials about the affordable housing process. Learn more about their work here.
PUBLIC SPACES : A major new waterfront park
We walked around the Hunter’s Point South Park a major new waterfront park in the city which transformed an abandoned post-industrial area in Long Island City. The new park includes a central green, playgrounds, adult fitness equipment a dog run, a bikeway, a waterside promenade, picnic terraces a basketball court, a 30-foot-tall cantilevered platform for viewing the skyline and waterfront, and a 13,000 square foot pavilion that contains comfort stations, concessions, and an elevated cafe plaza.
CONFERENCES : Acts of Design: New Housing Paradigms in North America
Acts of Design Panel 1: Territorio Gigantes - YouTube
The conference assessed the current state of housing in North America through a combination of case-studies. The focus was on designing housing across scales in cities spanning Toronto, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, and New York. Speakers included Jorge Ambrosi and Gabriela Etchegaray, Michael Bell, Tatiana Bilbao, David Brody, Fernanda Canales. Read more here.
We also attend the event Reshaping Streetcapes which explored strategies to promote design excellence for one of “the most unruly areas” of the public realm: sidewalks and streets.
The #cocreateDESIGN FESTIVAL 2019, themed “Inspiring Resilience”, is taking place on 25 and 26February at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. The festival will celebrate globally inspiring, people-led, on-the-ground projects that demonstrate the power of design to tackle current socio-economic and environmental shocks and stresses. Now in its second year, the festival boasts over 20 notable speakers and masterclass hosts from various backgrounds and from across the globe.
CITYLIFT Cape Town Foreshore Freeway Plan - YouTube
How can the Cape Town city centre be reconnected with the water, overcoming the barriers of the freeways?
CITYLIFT is a vision for Cape Town which proposes to remove the elevated freeways, replacing it with at grade road, and lifting the city grid over and above it towards the harbour.
CITYLIFT would created a dense, vibrant, green new city district at the harbour’s edge, to act as a ‘grand urban balcony’ providing the public with views of the ocean and harbour, as well as Table Mountain.
CITYLIFT comprises three parts:
the city extended to the harbour (at upper levels),
sub-surface strategic movement systems, and
a new linear park that connects the city and movement levels.
The first step involves demolishing the Foreshore Freeway Bridge, dropping the working freeway to the ground and then gradually lifting the city up over this, creating a raised ground that extends the grid of the city at a height of approximately 7 to 10 metres above the existing ground level – lifting it over the public transport and cars moving below. This would allow the CBD to expand, providing more mixed-use space for commercial, residential and cultural facilities and deliver a brand-new city district. A four-lane road in both directions, including dedicated BRT bus lanes, along with parking and other services infrastructure to support the developments above, and a future interface with the harbour, would be built beneath the raised city ground.
In September 2018, Sharyn Sassen, a project consultant for Our Future Cities represented the organisation at the 11th World Convergences Forum in Paris.
The conference provides a platform for thought on issues of exclusion, poverty and climate change by bringing together public, private, and solidarity-based actors to promote the Sustainable Development Goals. The 2018 Convergences Forum gathered 3000 participants from various sectors to share best practices and create high-impact partnerships for tackling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Sharyn Sassen sat on a panel alongside Luca Pupulin (IMPACT Initiative), Gerals Maradan (EcoAct) and Mahmoud Mohieldin (World Bank) to discuss SDG 11: “The Cities of Tomorrow”.
The session focussed on how to build more inclusive, sustainable and resilient future cities in the face of the global population explosion. Sassen shared learnings from some of the Future Cape Town projects on tackling exclusion and discrimination through placemaking, partnerships and strategies that improve the accessibility of our cities for all. See more here.
Read more about projects Sharyn Sassen has been involved in:
We Are Cities: Closing Plenary at the Future Cities Canada Summit - YouTube
In November 2018, our director Rashiq Fataar was invited to participate in the inaugural Future Cities Canada Summit in Toronto. The event convened 850 city builders from across the world with more than 120 leaders speaking about their work creating real solutions to the challenges our cities are facing.
During the closing plenary, Rashiq Fataar joined Senator Ratna Omdivar, Tanya Talaga and Maxim Bragoli on the “We Are Cities” panel which discussed diversity and inclusion in cities. Read more here.
2018 UCLG Global Youth Culture Forum (UCLG글로벌청년문화포럼) - YouTube
From 29 October to 04 November 2018, we took part in the 2018 Global Youth Culture Forum along with diverse international urbanists, artists and architects. The purpose of the workshop was to examine a series of related questions and produce creative proposals for the revitalization of Jeju Old City taking into consideration the rich history, culture and public spaces of the city. At its peak, Jeju Old City was a centre of commerce and hospitality, welcoming sailors, merchants and tourists through its port.
The key proposal developed focussed on improving the relation between the city and the sea, through pavilion structures.
In August, senior British politicians and government officials part of the British Prime Ministers tour of Africa visited Church Square and Speakers-Corner as part of the ongoing regeneration of the East City.
Katie & Jonny Friedman from Urban Lime and Rashiq Fataar from Our Future Cities hosted Andrew Selous, Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for South Africa, John Mahon, Director General: Exports, Department for International Trade, Emma Wade-Smith OBE, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, Department for International Trade and Tom Moody, Head of the Prosperity Fund, British High Commission in South Africa, facilitated by Raksha Maharaj, Trade Development Manager, Infrastructure, Sub-Saharan Africa Department for International Trade Johannesburg.
The Rivertown Precinct Masterplan Competition hosted by Urban Lime and operated by Future Durban invited 8 South African planning and urban design companies to compete to prepare a masterplan for Rivertown Precinct located to the east of the Central Business District in Durban, South Africa.
The winning team will tasked with developing an overarching vision to provide a roadmap and guide Urban Lime as its embarks on the regeneration of its properties within this precinct while speaking to a broader vision for the precinct, and the city centre.
On 8 and 9 October, the 8 teams presented their masterplan concepts and in the coming weeks a winner will be announced.