Contemporary landscape interventions in Johannesburg are characterised by a monotonous spatial phenomenology contributing to the existing negative stereotypes surrounding the inner-city public domain. In this dissertation an attempt is made to reiterate the importance of spatial phenomenology in the design of open green space in the Braamfontein area in the Johannesburg, through the establishment of an intimate relationship between the urban user and the landscape. Theories of “the viridic” (Raxworthy 2018) will be studied as informants to an alternative form of landscape practice and design, which would incorporate the theoretical understanding of landscape architecture and the practical experience of gardening in the development of a landscape intervention. The aim with the dissertation is also to identify and apply a regional garden practice through the investigation of a regional landscape typology, seven field case study gardens and the relevance indigeneity has towards the expression of cultural identity in gardens of a transforming South Africa. The notion of a landscape intervention as a garden collective, seen as the creation of a landscape of potential, is thus proposed in the dissertation. The proposed programme consists of a phased development of fifty years in which the user is engaged as primary custodian of the landscape in order to improve user participation and ownership of this landscape. The intervention will be initiated with a productive landscape for the pupils of the Johannesburg technical improvement school as first phase followed by a domestic allotment garden system for the surrounding residential users and in the final phase, a public park for the general public of the Johannesburg CBD. Through the identification of a regional garden practice inherent to the surrounding area, and the reinforcement of the intimate relationship between the user and the inherent novelty of the urban landscape, the aim with the proposed landscape intervention is to create a culturally appropriate and sustainable catalyst for urban renewal in order to address contemporary green open space issues in the public realm of the Johannesburg area, reinforcing the notion of ‘return to the city’ by returning to the garden.
Mini Dissertation (MLArch (Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2020.