2017 Honours Reports

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Now showing 1 - 16 of 16
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    Mixed-income housing developments as a social and spatial integration strategy: the case of Fleurhof integrated residential development
    (University of the Witwatersrand, School of Architecture and Planning, 2017) Sibanda, Amanda
    The development of sustainable human settlements advocated in the 2004 Breaking New Ground-A Comprehensive Plan for the Development of Sustainable Human Settlements has brought attention to the significance and meaning of integration. Mixed-income housing developments along with informal settlements upgrading are two approaches South Africa’s local governments have implemented to address rapid urbanisation and the urban housing demand that has proven to be a challenge in South Africa. The rationale behind these two approaches has been to address the increasing challenge of urban poverty, urban redevelopment and the entrenched issue of socio-spatial segregation. Social and spatial segregation are challenges the City of Johannesburg has been facing and are in constant battle to address. Urban spatial policies express the requirement for social and spatial integration in the city in order to achieve the overarching vision of becoming a sustainable socially inclusive compact city. Mixed-income housing developments have been touted as an approach that can achieve the implementation of social and spatial integration of urban neighbourhoods. They are seen as a method to integrating the urban poor, low-income individuals and families into the societal structures that will assist them in their upward drive in the economic ladder and influence their social behaviour, combating the social ills and notions of public housing; and addressing the spatial segregation of land use, transport and human settlements. The purpose of this research is to explore mixed-income housing development with the objective of socio-spatial integration and investigate the structures of social interactions. The case study for this research is Fleurhof Integrated Residential Development-a private-public mixed-income housing development located south-west of Johannesburg Central Business District. This research aims to investigate the processes and methods of social integration in Fleurhof and the ability of this development in achieving spatial integration.
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    The impact of the Gautrain station in Midrand.
    (School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand., 2017) Surti, Naeema
    Transport and the need for mobility in a city is dependent on the development of land uses, social factors and economic sectors. It is largely linked to the development of a country. When development takes place, expansion of road networks and in some cases rail networks take place as well, in order to access the new area. Passenger rail is not a new concept, and has been around for over two centuries. In South Africa however, it has been in existence for over 150 years. Metrorail, PRASA, Transnet and now the Gautrain are the three types of passenger rail available in Gauteng. With the Gautrain gaining popularity by the day, it is only natural to look at the way it has performed over the last six years. From 2010 to now, the Gautrain Rapid Rail has had an impact on the whole province. Its effects can be seen at all stations, especially at Sandton, Rosebank, Centurion and Pretoria. It has spurred all kinds of developments and investments into these areas, allowing them to grow and increase in value. This report seeks to understand the impact the Gautrain has had in Midrand, looking at its effect on development. It also seeks to demonstrate that Transit Oriented Development has a place in South Africa, and the Gautrain Stations are the best place to implement it. Midrand is still developing and because of this, it has the potential to flourish into a fully functional Transit Oriented Development.
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    Lived experiences of a physical shift: from informal settlements into mulit-storey RDP housed.
    (School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand., 2017) Mabasa, Rhulani Charity
    One in every eight people in the world live in informal settlements. The informal settlements sector is one of the oldest alternative providers of housing in cities for the majority that are not able to buy or rent a formal place of living. Official urban planning has shown an interest in addressing living conditions in informal settlements. In South Africa, the approach employed in addressing informal settlement conditions has mainly been through the provision of low-income housing. Scholars of urban planning and assessment reports in South Africa have illustrated how the low-income housing programme adopted in 1994 to roll-out houses to the previously disadvantaged citizens of the country has failed to deliver housing effectively and, in fact, perpetuated sprawl. Policy makers, urban planners and other spatial practitioners sought a way to effectively respond to informal settlements, house informal dwellers and densify cities. The multi-storey RDP was adopted as a solution to addressing these problems. Against this backdrop, this research report interrogates the lived experiences of shifting from informal settlements into multi-storey RDP housing. The interrogation uses Fleurhof Ext. 9 as a case study to reveal the lived experiences of former informal dwellers. This research reports on the ways in which the dwellers engage with the multi-storey dwelling in the common spaces of the neighborhood. The research also provides an outline of the opportunities and challenges that the dwellers of multi-storey RDP housing encounter in their daily living. This research builds an understanding of housing informal dwellers in multi-storey low-income housing. Moreover, the results of the research and recommendations offer spatial planning practitioners, designers and policy makers an insight of the performance of multi-storey housing built to upgrade and house informal dwellers, thereby informing them of possibilities of continuing in exploration of multi-storey RDP housing across the country for informal settlements.
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    The effects of densification on urban resilience in Parktown West.
    (School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand., 2017) Phewa, Nombuso
    African cities are continuously undergoing changes through densification and urban regeneration projects. Although mostly anticipated, these changes often have to be responded to with tools and strategies on maintaining the general character of the areas as the heritage and history then become affected. In this regard, it is crucial to observe the various ways through which densification affects the resilience of certain suburbs. This will aid in developing resilience thinking methods to aid in the maintenance and protection of the character of cities. In many countries around the world, governments are seeking to increase urban densities (Tighe, 2010). Residential densification is often the main focus in the densification policies of South African cities as a result of the apartheid legacy of sprawling, fragmented and racially segregated cities (Turok, 2011). The aim of this research is therefore to shed some light on the impact that densification in general has on urban resilience. The suburb of Parktown West has been selected as a case study. This research utilises qualitative research methods to establish ways through which densification has and is affecting Parktown West’s general urban resilience. The research findings suggest that the Parktown Residents’ Association, the Heritage Council, planning policy as well as the Parktown – Westcliff ridges are the key reasons behind the resilience of Parktown West’s urban environment. The study is therefore valuable in that it provides a perspective different to that of residential densification and its effects on urban resilience. The study recognises limits to the applicability as well as limits to the replicability of the study. Applicable limits are the factors identified as having contributed to the resilience of Parktown West and could still be applicable to a different context. Furthermore, the replicability of this research means that it can be conducted at a context different to Parktown West. Finally, the study recommends that South African cities need to adopt resilience thinking in order to anticipate changes to urban form that result from densification.
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    Land use changes along a spine road: Soshanguve residents’ use of private space.
    (School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand., 2017) Mashaba, Reabetswe
    From the late 1990s, townships have experienced substantial economic development. Townships have experienced increased spatial development and investments and housing is seen as an asset. This research report explores land use changes along a spine road, particularly in residents’ private space or properties. The research question addressed by this research report is; what activities are residents undertaking in their private space along Aubrey Matlala spine and what are the implications for land use management? The relevance of this research rises from the fact that it is undertaken in a peripheral township which has not been given much attention in literature. This research is a qualitative research taken on the basis of a single case study. The research is aimed at exploring small-scale and often informal private developments, and associated activities that are found in residential properties. The research is undertaken in one of South Africa’s townships, Soshanguve and particularly along an activity spine, Aubrey Matlala Road. The research investigates how residents along Aubrey Matlala road have attempted to maximize their assets and respond to socioeconomic opportunities that arise from developments. A related concern is the implications of these small-scale private investments in residential areas for land management in the context of post-apartheid spatial planning. South Africa’s changing landscape has not only had negative impacts on small-scale business activities, but has also provided opportunities that many residents have taken advantage of.
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    Conflicting rationalities in densifying the Corridors of Freedom: the case of the knowledge precinct.
    (University of the Witwatersrand, School of Architecture and Planning, 2017) Tshiashi, Livhuwani Waren
    The City of Johannesburg’s spatial structure still resembles the apartheid spatial configuration. The marginalized are still mostly located at the outskirts of the city without the monetary means to move to well-located areas and closer to economic opportunities. The City has highlighted the daily hardships of the poor as a major problem. Furthermore, the majority of the working class have to spend approximately 20 per cent of their monthly income on transport (City of Johannesburg, 2015). The lack of affordable housing in close proximity to the inner city further adds to the challenges. The City seeks to address these challenges through Corridor and Transit Oriented developments (TOD). According to the City, through the use of cheaper, efficient transportation systems, people will be able to spend less time commuting to and from work (City of Johannesburg, 2015). However, transportation forms only but one part of the plan to try and bring people closer to economic opportunities. The City seeks to accommodate people of different socio-economic stature along the proposed developmental corridors. TOD builds on densification as a tool to increase populations around transport systems in order to maximize public transport use. They create an environment that stimulates the use of alternative transport to private cars. Through mixed land-use, the City seeks to create integrated neighbourhoods where people will ‘live, work and play’ without having to travel long distances (City of Johannesburg, 2015). However, TOD is often associated with rising property prices (Curtis, et al., 2009). In a context where there is a need for affordable housing in well-located areas, there is a risk that TOD will result in higher property prices and pose a threat to the inclusion of low-income residents in the City. People living in cities in Africa have often looked at bottom-up approaches to solving their problems. Despite being regarded as ‘informal’ these practices are a norm and they are an important component of the city fabric (Jenkins, 2013). Backyard housing is an example of these practices and it significantly reduces the housing demand in South Africa (Lemanski, 2009). Furthermore, it is an affordable housing alternative that performs various roles for poor households. The aim of this research is to find out how people in the Corridors of Freedom perceive densification and their position on the proposed densification policy in light of the need for affordable housing in the Knowledge Precinct. It draws on the characteristics of TOD and questions the feasibility of achieving affordable housing through TOD and whether or not ‘unconventional’ or ‘informal’ ways to densification have a place in the Corridors of Freedom. The research concludes by drawing on the possible impacts of TOD on housing affordability and provide recommendations on how affordable housing could be achieved in the Corridors of Freedom.
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    Impacts of urban regeneration in Johannesburg's inner city: a study of Maboneng in relation to Jeppestown
    (University of the Witwatersrand, School of Architecture and Planning, 2017) Mashiri, Lesley
    It is evident that urban regeneration has been able to revitalize the Johannesburg inner-city and improve its urban environment. The project has been able to bring investment and people back into to inner-city, however it is important to analyse what type of investment is returning as this has a bearing on who is being attracted back to the city. The study examines neighbourhood in Jeppestown in order to assess the urban contestations over space as well as the impacts of urban regeneration on the lives of the people in Jeppestown. A significant part of the literature covers the process of urban regeneration and the factors existing in cities which lead to it being needed to improve the urban environment. The second part suggests that urban regeneration causes exclusion and forced evictions of pre-existing lower- income residents in the effort to make way for the middle class leading to undesirable social problems such as urban marginality and segregation. The study finds that Jeppestown and Maboneng can develop a symbiotic relationship provided that there is a connection between the two.
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    Multiplicity of registration systems: multiplicity of research strategies
    (University of the Witwatersrand, School of Architecture and Planning, 2017) Mbele, Nomamfengu
    This research is about assessing the registration policy instrument utilised by various street trader management stakeholders. The research focuses on how the street traders experience these registration systems in the current street trader management context. Taking on the phenomenological qualitative research approach, the research tells the stories of registration, as told by street traders in and around Noord Street linear markets. This will be used as an attempt to explore and document the otherwise messily understood registration systems. The dominant and formalised municipal registration systems are plagued by the inconsistency, fragmentation and unilateral decision making which has contributed to restrictive, yet more importantly the disempowerment of street traders. Whilst the informal civil-society registrations is characterised by collective, unifying and effective practices that have given the street traders an element of empowerment, yet there is still an urge to establish a management tool that would give the traders comprehensive empowerment to deconstruct the unequal power relations that persist in the South African society.
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    The creative city approach to urban generation: an evaluation of its benefits in Braamfontein Johannesburg
    (School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand., 2017) Khwashaba, Unarine
    In the pursuit of creating post-industrial cities, the creative city approach was established in 1988 (Cohendet et al). During the 1990s the approach was intertwined with the process of urban regeneration (Cohendet et al). The creative city approach has facilitated many cities around the world in the transitioning from an industrial production based economy to a post-industrial knowledge based economy1, the knowledge based economy is currently the kind of economy which cities are using to compete globally (OECD,1996). The transition is made through the production, consumption and trading of products and services resulting from innovation/creativity .When an area or a city is regenerated using the creative city approach to urban regeneration certain benefits are encountered, these are benefits such as adequate housing with complementary utilities, diversity of job opportunities, convenience and creative centres where innovative skills are enhanced. This research report focuses on the evaluation of these benefits, in an attempt to answer the question of how do residents in Braamfontein benefit from the developments influenced by the creative city approach to urban regeneration. Residents refers to interviewees from three social groups namely the creative class, students and the blue-collar workers2. The reason why these categories were chosen is the fact that they are the top 3 dominant population in Braamfontein. The rationale for this evaluation is based on Landry and Johnathan (2009) and Hall’s (2008) argument that the evaluation of the benefits of the creative city approach helps to position a city and inspires it to do better by outlining its weaknesses, strengths, opportunities and threats, cities which lack evaluations often decline in the long or the short run. After conducting interviews and taking into consideration available literature, it was revealed that there is an imbalance in benefiting from the developments influenced by the creative city approach to urban regeneration i.e. the creative class benefit more than students and the blue-collar workers respectively, the reason for this is socio-economic exclusion. However if social innovation or artistic creativity was highly taken into consideration and supported in Braamfontein as economic or technological innovation , non skilled workers could have been highly benefiting too. The creative city approach to urban regeneration consist of different kinds of innovation which include economic innovation, social innovation and technological innovation, this will further be explained in the literature review. It was recommended that Students and the blue-collar workers can be integrated into the developments happening in the area through all-inclusive public spaces in order to empower them, improve their sense of belonging and improve their liveability in the area of Braamfontein. It was also recommended that social innovation which is synonymous artistic creativity should be supported by providing platforms where it should take place ,this will help non creative class residents to highly benefit from the development influenced by the creative city approach to urban regeneration.
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    Evaluating self-help initiatives in the upgrading of informal settlements
    (School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand., 2017) Mbunjana, Zizipho
    Apartheid spatial policies have left many black South Africans living in peripheral areas far from their places of employment. These people have occupied vacant land closer to urban areas and have built what they now refer to as home in an attempt to integrate themselves into the city. This research paper highlights the government’s failure to provide access to affordable housing for low-income people in well-located areas close to economic opportunities. The paper will look specifically at the Slovo Park informal settlement’s self-help project and the benefits the community derived from this initiative. The research will then show that self-help housing is a desirable approach to upgrading informal settlements, although it is not highly supported by government officials. The paper also proves that communities are willing to provide their own housing, provided there are sufficient infrastructural services.
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    The ‘gates’ next to the ‘shacks': exploring the relationship between gated communities and its surrounding poor neighbourhoods
    (School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand., 2017) Tswai, Klaas
    Gated communities are a global phenomenon, which is one of the most striking features of contemporary urbanism. Their rise and popularity have provoked different experiences and narratives, but most specifically in South Africa, it has caught the attention of many commentators and academics. Lemanski (2006) argued that majority of literature has emphasized the negative impacts, whereas their positives are less announced. This research report assess the impacts of gated communities on surrounding disadvantaged areas by investigating the socio-economic and spatial relationships that existing between them. Steyn City and Dieplsoot are used as a case study for this research and the research is using the perception of Diepsloot residents to understand the relationships between these two communities. This research has discovered socio-economic and spatial relationships between Diepsloot and Steyn City and as opposed the huge amount of critique gated communities in South Africa have received, Diepsloot residence tends to differ, because for them Steyn City Development brought hope and revival for the community.
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    Backyards life
    (School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand., 2017) Matsheng, Chelsy
    The RDP housing programme was considered as a solution to poverty in South Africa. It was believed that households could either sell their house in the housing market or use it as a collateral to access finance. However, this has proven ineffective because households often attach values to their housing, and are not willing to either sell or use their houses as collateral. Households rather resort to generating income for themselves through backyard rental accommodation. However the state been unsupportive of the backyard rental accommodation, reasoning that it increases the density of the houses beyond which it was created for. The findings of this research reveals that the income from the backyard rental accommodation income plays an important role in improving the quality of life of the RDP beneficiaries. This research argues that backyard rental accommodation provides the RDP beneficiaries with opportunities to improve their economic situation, material and social well-being and also allows them to improve their houses, thereby improving their quality of life. At the same time providing affordable, flexible accommodation and social stable environments to tenants. Taking into consideration of the benefits of backyard rental accommodation to RDP beneficiaries, this research argues it helps housing to perform as an asset. This is because it does not only provide survival strategy to RDP beneficiaries, it helps them improve their economic situation and consequently improves their quality of life.
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    Urban planning and transport planning rationalities in the city of Johannesburg
    (School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand., 2017) Chiwetu, David
    Schoeman (2015:49) states that “urban and regional planning and transportation planning requires the deliberation of what can and must occur where in spatial systems .It includes the emphasis and collaboration of different policies and practices which comprises tools and instruments and the interaction between professions in a wider context.’’ Transit Orientated Development is a tool, which has received mainstream attention in South African Cities for its potential to contribute to socio spatial restructuring of the Apartheid City. Bickford (2015) states that the TOD concept has been incorporated in both local Integrated Development Plans and Integrated Transport Plans as a tactical overarching objective hence institutionalizing the concept in both the Transport and Planning Departments. Transit Orientated Development is a strategy in both spatial and transport planning practice and thus its implementation in South Africa entails the capability of transport planners and urban planners to develop unified planning practices.
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    Towards a water sensitive city: the case of Johannesburg
    (2017) Molvi, Hashim
    The City of Johannesburg is a water scarce city with frequent droughts, flash floods during the rainy season, rising water demands and deteriorating water quality. These water challenges faced by the city of Johannesburg are further aggravated in the context of increased urbanisation, resources constraints and climate change. Green infrastructure includes both natural and engineered or street-level design green infrastructure that mimic natural processes and systems. Green infrastructure is understood as an urban planning and urban design concept for enhancing existing grey infrastructure as well as protecting natural systems and processes. This research report focuses on possible building and street-level design interventions that incorporate green infrastructure, such as bioswales, constructed wetlands, green roofs, permeable paving, raingardens/ bioretention cells and vegetative filter strips. These types green infrastructure which can also be referred to as Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) are identified and discussed in more detail with the aim of alleviating water challenges in the City of Johannesburg. The water management and water provision ecosystem services that are provided by green infrastructure are deliberated on along with the need for green infrastructure to be applied in urban planning. The research report analyses whether water challenges in the City of Johannesburg can be addressed by applying green infrastructure interventions into urban planning. Substantial evidence of WSUD interventions have been provided in the literature review, precedents as well as the case study of the City of Johannesburg. The research report demonstrates the effectiveness of WSUD, when integrated into urban planning, by reviewing the ecosystem services provided by WSUD interventions in the context of the City of Johannesburg. However, the final part of this research report explains some of the challenges faced by the City of Johannesburg, and how to overcome these challenges in order to achieve a Water Sensitive City.
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    The social impacts of infrastructural investment: the case of Winterveld(t)
    (School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand., 2017) Ngomane, Tinyiko
    The Post-Apartheid government has placed a great emphasis on the formulation and implementation of initiatives and programmes that seek to redress the effects of the Apartheid era. These ramifications include poverty and inequality, which limit people’s ability to be seen as equals in the nation. This research took on a qualitative methodological approach to finding out what effects infrastructural investment has had on the lived experiences of the inhabitants of a peripheral area called Winterveld(t) in the City of Tshwane. With the investment in infrastructure that occurs in the area should come an improvement in the social development of its inhabitants. This research has found that this is not necessarily the case in Winterveld(t). Many are unable to identify investments in infrastructure that have occurred in the area are have thus been unable to utilise them to better their lives.
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    Sustainable densification on the Perth-Empire corridor of freedom
    (University of the Witwatersrand, School of Architecture and Planning, 2017) Crankshaw, Beth Pulane
    The concept of sustainability has been thrown around the fields of the built environment for decades, however, its emphasis is ever-changing as interpretations and urban challenges are in a constant dynamic state, requiring shifts in town planning approaches and development trends. This research considers the various interpretations of sustainability and applies this to a Johannesburg context where the City of Johannesburg is attempting to densify certain corridors and nodes, compacting the space in which people live, work, and play. This means increased access to opportunities that have thus far been exclusive to those who can afford to live in ideal locations around the city, due to South Africa’s apartheid legacy of inequality. The concept of sustainable densification has then been used to assess the degree to which private developers are attempting to contribute to the goals of the City to densify in a way that is socially, economically, and environmentally not detrimental to present and future generations. Three case studies have been chosen along the Perth-Empire Corridor of Freedom as representatives of the private sector; demonstrating various dynamics within the current property market, and dynamics between stakeholders involved.