Contextualising the influence of urban regeneration in architecture: a design towards an urban rescue center in the City of Durban.
Njani, Nokubonga Princess.
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For centuries, urban Africans have established lives that are satisfactory in catering to their human needs. Moreover, there has been an ingenious potential of utilizing the ever-growing fields of social relations to make city life feasible. Contemporary African cities represent platforms where Africans’ struggles about the present and future ways of living are constantly influenced by the transforming demands of external powers. Even today, an assumption still prevails that Africa is an uncivilized rural continent whereby men co-exist with wild animals. Regardless of the negative connotations that are placed upon the African continent, African cities are still places that portray multiple intensities and layers of social cohesion. It is noted that African cities were once viewed as the core of the innovatory energy and cultural forces of its residents, however, with the need to urbanize as majority of the underprivileged individuals settle in urban environments and establish informal means of surviving in the city, African cities in modern society seem to be drifting into decaying and dangerous places that are a cause of anxiety and resentment. The intention of this research is to provide an analysis through defining conceptual and theoretical lens as to how the concept of urban regeneration within the city of Durban can play a significant role in architecture. This study is relevant to the city of Durban because of the rate in which the city of Durban is estimated to urbanize in the near future. The intention of this dissertation is focused more in the investigation of the concept of urban regeneration and natures ability to reinforce social life for individuals residing in urban environments, with an attempt of ascertaining how architectural design can act as a driver for influencing a ‘break-away space’ for individuals to retreat in an urban environment.