This dissertation explores wastelands on two levels: an urban planning level and a poetic spatial level. As a real world problem, people move to suburbs (notably in the form of low density housing estates) in search of nature; as they move they destroy nature and contribute to the decay of urban form and fabric of the city. Due to the ensuing urban sprawl and other factors, cities are punctured with wastelands that lie abandoned, neglected and forgotten. On a planning level, this dissertation investigates if wastelands can become the healing tissue that a city needs to reverse urban decay of form and fabric. However, once identified for redevelopment or re-use, the intriguing enigmatic character and richness of wastelands are often ignored and erased in a process akin to gentrification - the sterilisation of wastelands results in ‘non-place’. Thus, on a spatial and experiential level, this dissertation explores the potential of wastelands to become enigmatic landscapes in reaction to the ‘non place’ of modernity. Wastelands in Pretoria are mapped in order to identify potential areas that can be re-imagined to serve a decaying city with open space, yet not be reduced to ‘non-place’ - a site in Salvokop is selected for the study. The design follows a hypothetical process that start with spatial explorations followed by planning considerations; not vice versa. Technical investigations test the validity of the proposed intervention and refine it. A portion of the site is resolved to a detailed sketch plan.
Dissertation (ML(Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2012.