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“the living street’”

Part 2 Project 2006
Leslie van der Veen
Michael Caspi
John Andrews
Bandile Boyana
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Port Elizabeth South Africa
The Urban Thesis, “the living street’” was an exploration of an appropriate integration of two very different public realms. On the one hand a typical South African Suburb representing gated affluence, resulting in desolate place and on the other a vibrant Township, dilapidated yet spatially, well used.

The challenge was to unite this segregated landscape without losing the quality of the Township’s public realm. The resulting solution attempts to inject some Township spatial qualities into the Suburb and with regard to the Township, to provide some infrastructure to allow the existing activity to grow and flourish.

Leslie van der Veen
Michael Caspi
John Andrews
Bandile Boyana


The 2005 Urban Thesis Design project tasked students to address the uncomfortable spatial divide existing between South African Cities and their adjacent Townships.

The wealthy “formerly whites only” upper income suburb of Walmer and the Gqebera Township, in Port Elizabeth, was chosen as the vehicle for investigation of this phenomenon.

Walmer and its township co-existed for many years as un-integrated entities and during the 20th century many attempts were made to close the township down. Whilst these all failed, a by product was that no investment took place in Gqebera, neither in the form of infrastructure, public facilities nor human investment.

The submitted project produced a sensitive solution to the task. Through the creation of a primary activity artery consisting of mixed use activities which linked the two area’s civic cores and secondary, primarily residential, avenues. The project retained the unique, healthy public realm of the Township, merely formalizing it.


2006
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