Anneli Eskilsson; Lisa Häggdahl; Maria Örenfors From Township to Townscape-urban renewal in Galeshewe, South Africa. Anneli Eskilsson, Lisa Häggdahl, Maria Örenfors, pp. 95. Inst. för fysisk planering/Dept. of Spatial Planning, 2003.
Galeshewe is a former township in South Africa that has been neglected for a long time. The economic activity is low and the design of the physical environment poor. The Urban Renewal Programme started in 1999 as an attempt to improve the situation in previously disadvan-taged areas in South Africa. This diploma work can be seen as one part of that program.
In South Africa one way of strengthening the economic growth is to work with the development of economic activity clusters connected through different modes of transport. In the Integrated Development Plan of Sol Plaatje unicipality, the Galeshewe Activity Corridor was pointed out. Along the Corridor six economic activity nodes were identified. In this diploma work suggestions for development of the corridor and three of the nodes have been made. All three students have together prepared the Corridor proposal. For the nodes, studies and proposals in more detail have been done individually.
The overall aim of our project is to strengthen the physical conditions for economic and social activities in a previously disadvantaged area. This will be done through proposals for physical development which are presented by means of illustrative material to picture how the area
could look like in ten to fifteen years. The aim is to describe how the area functions and looks today, and based on that to create a comprehensive material about Galeshewe, with focus on the Galeshewe Activity Corridor. As a response to the overall aim, four guiding principles have been formulated:
• Holistic planning (regarding the spatial context for new pro-posals)
• Better balance between different modes of transport (a switch of focus from car to pedestrians, bicyclists and public trans-port)
• Improve public spaces (create new squares to support eco-nomic and social activities)
• Improve accessibility (mainly by handling the issue of security)
The guiding principles together with a SWOT Analysis, Kevin Lynch’s City Structure Analysis and today’s situation in Galeshewe, have ruled the design of the proposals for both the corridor and the nodes. The SWOT analysis highlighted strengths like lively streets and well used public transport, weaknesses like poverty and poor physical environ-ment, opportunities like the will to improve and available funding to do so, and threats like bad reputation and high crime rate in the area. Through the Kevin Lynch’s City Structure Analysis the structure of and the relation between elements such as paths, edges, districts, nodes and landmarks were identified. Interesting discoveries were that many paths, or passages, are not connected to each other and that the area lacks landmarks.
Along the corridor, upgrading of the streetscape through paving, tree planting and new streetlights has already started. The proposal of the corridor has in focus to create a safe street environment, as well as improved facilities for the pedestrians and bicyclists. The proposal of the corridor also includes as a design program for various fittings to improve the street environment. The emphasis lays, however, on the node proposals. The three nodes have different points of departure but are designed to work together.
The Entrance Node puts emphasis on a proposed new square placed near existing businesses. The square will be surrounded by new busi-nesses and amenities such as a new Galeshewe museum and a planned but not yet built petrol station. Space around an existing park, a nearby swimming pool and Community Hall is planned to form a connected
The Culture Node puts emphasis on semiformal trading and the development of a cultural village. The node’s main focus has moved from existing businesses to the corridor, where the Cultural Village and link-ages to the largest park in Galeshewe are developed. Around a new car wash, a small public square in direct contact with the park and new
trading is placed.
The Circle Node has a potential of becoming the centre of Galeshewe. The node development is concentrated to the area where five roads meet instead of the business area pointed out as the potential economic node. The latter is instead turned into a local shopping centre surrounded by housing. The Circle Node will become a busy, urban, commercial place as well as a transportation knot. A library, a cinema, a large grocery store, restaurants and offices are examples of activities that can be built in this node.
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