Regeneration in contested post apartheid urban space : towards the design of a remediation hub in the Durban South basin.
Claassen, James Michael Philips.
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Currently the world sits in a state of global economic, ecological and social crises. The city, the icon of triumph of human civilisation, needs to respond to these crises with sustainable and innovative solutions. South African cities are burdened by the history of planned segregated urban spaces that brutally fragmented communities. This induced urban sprawl, inequality and exclusion which was exacerbated by current global economic and environmental strains. South Africa cities are characterised by a high Gini coefficient, low skill levels, high unemployment contrasted by inefficient and rapidly sprawling urban forms that promote exclusion and economic segregation. This dissertation will seek to explore the relationship between space and place and how architecture can act as a catalytic regenerative tool. The various urban intervention processes will be outlined and will seek to introduce and research how architecture can remediate and regenerate the economic, social and environmental strains in the Durban South Basin Area. This will be explored through an urban and architectural intervention that generates skills, economic opportunities and resources (water, energy, food). The research method used is qualitative in nature and sought to glean research data on the topic through a literature review, precedent and case studies and finally through informal loose interviews and a qualitative questionnaire that utilised a random purposive sampling method. The findings revealed a need for an architecture that empowers and for urban interventions that are community focused that remediate environmental and economic stresses. The need for skills development, and economic opportunities in this empowerment process was highlighted in this regenerative approach to architecture. The approach should induce a site sensitive architecture that is responsive to the issues on the site while seeking to establish a sense of place in the contested urban spaces in which it is situated.