Urban Renewal in Kwazakhele, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

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

Abstract:

We have carried out our projects in Kwazakhele, a former township in the northern part of Port Elizabeth. This residential area was built in the 1950’s for the black population. In line with the policies of the apartheid regime, Kwazakhele was isolated from Port Elizabeth. Today the area is a low- to very low income area and the unemployment rate is high. The area is flat and featureless and many sites are undeveloped. Due to the lack of housing, many of these undeveloped sites are used by squatters. There are few developed public places in the area, such as meeting places and parks. Information about the project area has been gathered in Port Elizabeth during four months. Methods of analysis have been Kevin Lynch’s City Structure Analysis and a SWOT-analysis. When moving away from apartheid, one important aspect for the municipality is to improve for various groups. Creating a bus corridor running from Central Port Elizabeth through the former disadvantaged areas in the north up to Motherwell is important for developing both integration and sustainability. The new public transport system is based on trunk busses supported by feeder buses and completed with local buses and taxi services. The main goal is to provide an efficient all day public transport service. The Corridor development focuses on high density and mixed land use as this caters for maximum use of public transport means when travelling. Implementing the Khulani Corridor will cause changes to the urban landscape of Kwazakhele and therefore, a strategy on how this change will take place is needed to achieve holistic planning. Avoiding uncontrolled development is of great importance to the urban appearance. We want to present proposals of how development can take place in our project areas. We have used five concepts: • High density and densification • Mixed use development • Public space • Housing alternatives • Safety and security The concepts have resulted in a proposal made at two levels, one overall structure of land use and two detailed proposals. The area is to a large extent already built up. We have been working with infill housing on vacant land, unused school sites and land that today is used by squatters. We propose an overall upgrading of the street network, creating pedestrian and bicycle lanes, connecting main attractions in the area. The overall structure of public space is improved through the upgrading of existing space and through adding new ones. New parks for recreational proposes are suggested. They are connected by tree planted streets, green links, with pedestrians and bicycle lanes creating an overall green structure. We have used two housing types, corresponding with creating high density and mixed use development. As the main housing structure we propose small scale housing blocks, clusters. The structure aims at creating a smooth transition from private to public by developing semi-private and semi-public space. The individual proposals are developed around two bus stops along the Khulani Corridor. A proposal of housing, business and public space around Daku Road/Salamantu Street is made by Tove Svensson and a proposal of hosing, parks and public space around Njoli Street/Mavuso Road is made by Johanna Wulff.

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