READ: Incrementalism in settlement upgrading

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Bosia, E. 2015. Upgrading Khayelitsha: Analysis and strategies in a Cape Town Township. Master’s thesis in Architecture, Politecnico di Torino

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Enrico mapped out large and small informal settlements in Cape Town. Source: ondeline.com

Enrico mapped out large and small informal settlements in Cape Town. Source: ondeline.com

In this study, Enrico analysed the development strategies of an informal settlement in Site B, Khayelitsha in Cape Town. A close working relationship with community leaders was established with support from Community Organisation Resource Centre. A deeper understanding of way in which residents have shaped their living spaces were developed through field visits, meetings with the communities, photographs and drawings.

The recommendations of the project shows how a different approach to slum upgrading can be achieved by working with the already existing urban fabric. In this new approach, residents are seen as central actors of the improvement and development of the settlement. 

Incremental densification of the settlement can occur through 

Incremental densification of the settlement can occur through 

Incremental densification along key access routes opens space for quality public spaces which does not lead to the displacement of residents. Source: Author

Incremental densification along key access routes opens space for quality public spaces which does not lead to the displacement of residents. Source: Author

The research revealed a number of opportunities to create public spaces and improve roads. This required a strategy to accommodate residents who might be affected by works associated with the roads and public spaces. The diagrams illustrate how passive monitoring of the settlement can be achieved, resulting in increased 'eyes on the street' and safer environments.

The second step is the design of a flexible housing unit. Here a strategy is envisaged where the progressive replacement of the existing shacks will be carried out by providing an expandable unit. In this unit, the citizens are involved in the construction process, making them the protagonists of the settlement’s evolution.

Credits:

Text and images provided by the author.

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