Development of the Big Hole Precinct- in Kimberley South Africa

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Sektionen för teknokultur, humaniora och samhällsbyggnad; Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Sektionen för teknokultur, humaniora och samhällsbyggnad


South African cities were during the apartheid era built with separated areas for different groups of the society and residential segregation is one of the legacies left by the apartheid regime. The white minority controlled the cities during this time period and they referred black, coloured and Indian people to live in isolated townships outside the cities. The result became the segregated city. The township of Galeshewe in Kimberley is located close to the city centre in comparison with townships in other South African cities. The reason for this is that Galeshewe originated as a settlement for the black people working in the diamond mine, today known as the Big Hole, which is located just next to the Central Business District (CBD). The work with the development of the Big Hole precinct aims at bringing Kimberley’s segregated areas together by providing links between the township of Galeshewe, the CBD and southern prosperous residential areas and by developing housing and commercial areas in the undeveloped zone that today separates Galeshewe from the CBD and the southern prosperous suburbs to create a more coherent city structure. Information about the planning conditions concerning our work with the Big Hole precinct was gathered through inventories, municipal reports and through plans closely related to the Big Hole precinct that will influence the area. Three analyse methods was used in the project to find the guiding principles for the development of the Big Hole precinct; Analysis of suggested land uses, Kevin Lynch analysis and SWOT- analysis. The results of these analyses are that the development in the Big Hole precinct needs to have a varied land use in order to bring the scattered surrounding districts together and especially to accommodate space for CBD with both formal and informal trading to grow in this direction. The result was further that the development needs to reduce the barrier effect between Galeshewe, CBD and the southern suburbs that the mine-dumps today creates and to preserve as much of the existing built up structure in the area to maintain the character of the area. The proposal for the Big Hole precinct is based on the analyses and focuses on reducing the importance of the car as transportation mean by providing amenities and facilities closer to the township and by linking the street network in Galeshewe to the streets in the CBD and the southern suburbs to make it easier to move between these areas. Developments are also proposed in order to fill the former undeveloped zone that separated Galeshewe from CBD and the southern suburbs making the city more coherent and CBD orientated. Principles for development and a spatial plan are proposed and presented for the Big Hole precinct which focuses on extending the CBD to the western and southern part of the project area and towards the Open Mine Museum and Galeshewe. The spatial plan and principles also focuses on making the area available for the public and on bringing the scattered residential areas that surrounds the Big Hole precinct together. The surrounding areas are foremost brought together with links that stretches both in an east western direction and in a north southern direction. How these links can be developed is also proposed through a street network plan for the Big Hole precinct which shows how different traffic modes can be prioritised on different street to make the area more safe and secure. The links are further developed and proposals for their developments are made in detail as our separated parts in the report. Therese Byheden has worked with the east-western links which connect residential areas in the west and CBD and developed them through proposing activities along them that are related to the existing land use, CBD and the Open Mine Museum. Maria Lejdebro has moreover worked with the links in the north-southern direction connecting Galeshewe and the southern suburbs and developed them through one movement link primarily for traffic and one activity link primarily for pedestrians and bicyclists. The work for all links has focused on making it possible for all traffic modes to move along them, but for one traffic mode to be prioritised. The work further focused on making all links available for the public and on creating activities along them so that they will be attractive and safe to use.

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