An urban residential quarter, Warwick Triangle, Durban,
This thesis is not to be viewed as the solution to the so called "housing problem" in South Africa, or even in Durban, nor does it propose a definitive plan for the Warwick Triangle. It is. rather, an attempt to examine the opportunities that exist for the creation of a viable urban residential quarter that is not only rich and whole in itself, but contributes in some way to the richness and wholeness of the city. In pursuit of this I have looked at city-building, and housing in particular as an important part of city-building, as a process that is infinite and have tried to propose a development that facilitates this process and harnesses the creativity and resources of individuals in the making of urban environments. It is important to note that my concerns are equally to do with the problem of creating urban housing that works and is appropriate, and that of making a positive contribution to the public realm. No urban development should be seen in isolation (it is that selfish attitude that has caused the barrenness of many urban centres) but as part of a growing organism, the city, where each organ has a part to play in the performance of the whole, and interdependence means that no part flourishes at the expense of another. The proposal that results from these concerns, is for a high-density multi-use development. It is predominantly a residential development but includes shops, workshops and community space. These provide amenity, employment opportunities and reduce the potential for isolation of individuals living in the development. A reassessment of the housing process to include user participation and a mixture of· ownership and rental opportunities ensures that residents can express their own identities as opposed to the facelessness of mass-housing schemes.