The perception of the self within the built environment and its impact on urban regeneration : towards the design of a food market in the city of Durban.
Street trade within South Africa contributes to a significant portion of the informal sector and is now seen as something that contributes to the economy as well as the character of the city. It plays an active role incontributing to the livelihoods of many people ofthe informal sector. The informal sector has almost become synonymous with South Africa becoming a democratic entity as people that had struggled through exclusion from entering the cities, now had a platform towards citizenship to the city. Historically street trade has always been perceived as a nuisance in the city and as a result traders were marginalized to use spaces which did not present proper opportunity to support the needs of the traders. Urban public space has become one of the most valuable assets to people entering the informal sector, therefore it is important to understand the properties that play a role in the meaning of urban public space with for the users within the informal sector. The square, the street and the buildings make up the public face of towns and cities. The street has the opportunity to become a comfortable environment when the user is able to perceive it in such a way that they are able to orientate themselves with it. Further the street can be examined as a series of integrated spaces and when the physical elements of space are ordered a central point of relation to the user develops. The problem arises whereby urban public space in general has for some time been analyzed and interpreted from a first world viewpoint. One of the primary aims of this dissertation is to understand the various factors involved with third world developing countries, more specifically the informal sector and to understand how these factors may be supported and enhanced by the existing knowledge of place to aid in the design of meaningful architecture aiding in urban revitalization. The case studies outlined within this paper seek to demonstrate the importance of creating architecture that acknowledges that relationships between its, cultural, economic, and environmental, contexts of which can have the ability to sensitively and positively have an impact on its surrounding urban fabric.