In South African Townships, socio economic activities of the second economy such as informal trading typically manifest themselves in low quality, left over open spaces along roadsides and transport interchanges. These left over spaces are characteristic of townships and especially low cost housing and Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) communities, due to the emphasis placed on the dwelling units with little regard for the quality of open space. These environments are, over-scaled and not suited to human scale and although used for informal trading, they are not conducive to human or environmental well-being. An entrance precinct with such left over spaces in Olievenhoubosch Township, Centurion, is selected to test the hypothesis of an informal market as a catalyst for quality open space that considers human scale and enables the socio-economic functions of the community. The research starts off by establishing guidelines firstly for quality open space; secondly for human scale and thirdly for socio economic functions. These guidelines are applied at framework level looking at the entire precinct, including an informal market, stream corridor and taxi rank. At masterplan level, the focus is on the informal market. To avoid a merely functional response, the market approach is divided into two aspects, the market development and the spatial or experiential development aspect. These are informed by the established theoretical guidelines, case studies and existing activities and uses onsite. An overarching concept “Indawo Yami” meaning “my place”, ties the two aspects together while expressing the unique character of the community. The concept is born out of the vision of the market as a multifunctional community space that expresses the unique character of the community. The sketchplan proposal suggests that human and environmental well-being could be prime objectives of open spaces in townships all over South Africa.
Dissertation (ML(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2015.