The purpose of this dissertation was to explore how a landscape architect may help to address environmental decay and the threat of food scarcity that are the results of rapid urban growth. For this urban renewal scheme, it is proposed that the underutilized open spaces within the city are reclaimed and interconnected in order to maximize their potential, forming a continuous landscape network. It is believed that this landscape network needs to function beyond mere beautification in order to be successful and productive. A multifunctional strategy is thus brought forward, as emphasis is placed upon providing for food security and realizing the city’s wasted resources. Along with related economic and ecological advantages, ways in which open space may be more sustainably managed are explored. Acknowledging the sheer lack of municipal funds, community involvement is believed to be the catalyst of this vision. Surrounding neighbourhoods are hence proposed to be the maintainers of their surrounding open spaces, decreasing the monetary pressures on the authorities. Emphasis is placed on ways in which communities may be incorporated through designing for flexibility, pride of ownership and sense of belonging. A new identity that ties in with the original genius of place is ultimately promoted through this meaningful utility parkland. An abandoned stretch of land along the Walker Spruit between Pretoria’s Sunnyside East and Clydesdale suburbs served as a model for testing the hypothesis of a spatially continuous, linear and productive community park.
Dissertation ML(Prof)--University of Pretoria, 2013.