It is projected that by the year 2050, over 60% of the world’s population will be living in cities . General studies have shown that rural-urban migration leads to urban gentrification. Such issues, in turn, cause urban sprawl, as low-income earners – due to increasing living expenses – drift towards urban fringes. The idea of densifying urban centres in a bid to create sustainable cities therefore remains a topic for debate. This presented study, thus, begins with a literature review on Frank Lloyd Wright’s broad acre city, based on agrarian urbanism, in order to critique the current urban densification, as per Gray. The study then builds a case for a sustainable socio-economic development framework, situated
in a rural setting, through light and regenerative infrastructure. A mixed-methods approach (i.e., the use of both qualitative and quantitative
research methods) is adopted to both measure and analyse data collected at Mpaka Village, located in the Kingdom of Eswatini, so as to identify key factors that cause urban migration. Since Mpaka is cultured in subsistence farming, the idea of agrarian urbanism is investigated in an attempt to create a circular economy that can, over time, grow into large-scale commercial farming. The research further investigates, through secondary sources, the motifs of traditional and cultural knowledge systems (i.e., spatial meanings, spatial hierarchies, thresholds, structural expressions, and envelopes) that could potentially drive form and place-making in the creation of sustainable socio-spatial conditions, in line with Nkambule. In all, this study aims to adapt the noted principles as a means to create interconnections that stitch together the fragmented Mpaka community .
Mini-Dissertation (MArch)-University of Pretoria 2021