This dissertation manifested from the issue of derelict urban spaces and the displaced homeless people in these spaces. Vagrants live in derelict urban spaces
around Pretoria due to the assumption that these spaces do not have owners; therefore, they feel that they can take occupation there without having to be removed by people of authority. According to investigations of historical photos, the chosen site has not been developed since the 1930’s.
The character of Pretoria West is predominantly shaped by the apartheid system’s spatial planning and policies. The city has been partitioned into various
zones based on racial population (Kruger, 2005). Races other than the white community were separated from places of work and economic opportunities. This was done through buffer zones such as railway lines, vacant land and industrial areas (Kruger, 2005). Pretoria West is reminiscent of a fragmented neighbourhood that is disjointed from Pretoria CBD; this has resulted in many derelict urban spaces and industrial buildings.
Many buildings were left abandoned and vacant, whilst many more are being re-purposed for other functions and use. According to (Trancik, 1986), the changing
industrial, economic and employment patterns have further intensified problem of lost spaces in urban areas. Trancik suggests that an industrial fabric is difficult to convert to a safe urban public space. Kruger (2005) believes that the form and character of a place influences people’s perception of crime, meaning that people view an inaccessible open space as dangerous.
The proposed programme for the project will look to investigate the fragments of a disjointed Pretoria West from Pretoria CBD, how these fragments contribute to the negative connotation that is attached to Pretoria West, and the influence of an industrial urban fabric. The dissertation will also look to introduce an urban productive landscape whilst exploring the ways in which architecture can be a medium for the upliftment of the urban poor through the activation of derelict urban spaces in the community of Pretoria West. The study will also make use of urban theories to facilitate the activation of these derelict urban spaces. The
proposed primary programme will include a biofuel facility and an essential oils distillery as the main drivers that will be supplemented by an urban
agricultural component that will be explored in the urban framework.
Mini Dissertation (MArch(Prof)) University of Pretoria, 2018.