Everyone wants to live in a healthy environment, an idea that has always been closely associated with the healthy landscape. Pretoria CBD is no longer a place that offers such a landscape; it is congested, fragmented and placeless. People move far and wide to get away from its hostile environments, chasing after the high gloss images of nature displayed on the billboards and posters of suburbia. They race to find a patch of land within the security complexes and estates of the east, all the while being savagely pursued by the evils of urban sprawl and decentralization. Surely there must be a way of addressing mans need and desire for landscape without perpetuating urban problems and destroying the very nature they strive for? In order to ensure a sustainable future for Pretoria needs to investigate new ways to deal with the urban problems of sprawl and decay. This thesis explores the potential of using landscape as the basis with which one can reorder and reconstruct the urban form in a way that will offer people the ideals they search within a sustainable urban environment. The investigation starts at a regional scale in order to holistically address urban issues and identify opportunities and then works its way across a range of scales down to detail design and place making. It looks new methods of constructing contemporary landscapes not by mere superimposition but by working with the current and historic urban fabric as well as the social, historical and environmental processes that have shaped it over time. It looks to the far from idyllic, yet brutally honest, post-industrial landscape of Pretoria West to construct hybrid landscapes. Arguing that if one were to genuinely offer people a healthy landscape, one they can experience and relate to, the might actually want to live in the city, in return awakening spontaneous urban renewal.
Dissertation (ML(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2011.