“Places are not local things. They are moments in large-scale things, the large-scale things we call cities. Places do not make cities. It is cities that make places. The distinction is vital. We cannot make places without understanding the cities.” (Hillier 1996:151) This dissertation investigates the theoretical and practical importance of creating social spaces in the city. In distinguishes between public spaces (spaces that are merely accessible to society) and social spaces (spaces that encourage encounters between strangers), social space is identified as an integrating space that accommodates, adapts and relates to surrounding spaces. This contrasts public space whose only criteria is often that it is an open space. A theoretical argument explores the concept of ‘publicness’ in space and identifies practical design principles that reflect this concept. The physical locality of the project is then analysed where problems within the fabric of the city are identified. A series of local urban interventions, constituting a regional intervention for the Johannesburg CBD, are presented as a solution to these problems and a single intervention is then focused on. The design process documents the transmitting of knowledge into object form; design decisions are made intentionally and the final product is evaluated according to a set of interrogated design criteria.
Dissertation (MArch(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2007.