the tactility of publicness: scenes from within the fluctuating landscape of imizamo yethu
imizamo yethu, cape town
public space, sanitation, agency, resilience, placemaking
This dissertation examines the need for sustainable and productive public space and adequate service provision within the community of Imizamo Yethu. The project argues that a successful human settlement is one that holds housing needs, economic opportunity and public space amenities to equal importance. The project also challenges sustainability from an angle of necessity, arguing that sustainability can be achieved through teaching, learning, resourcefulness and creativity.
The design consists of two intervention strategies: The fi rst is the Hub, facilitating a larger public area for community members to gather and evoke collective goals. It includes space to facilitate goods trade and market activity, smaller productive spaces, and a space for community members to learn skills so as to render the smaller platforms sustainable.
From here springs the Satellites – a range of small, modular sanitation platforms – strategically positioned throughout Imizamo Yethu, specifi cally in the most informal area of Dontse Yakhe. These platforms, aim to provide running water and ablution services to residents within 50m of their homes, as well as acting as a WiFi point to connect residents to the Internet.
The design intervention aims to simply provide adequate public space and access to water to the residents of Imizamo Yethu, while allowing an exchange of knowledge to occur between resident and professional. The hope is that a culture of each-one-teach-one can be brewed, rendering the intervention sustainable and allowing for positive growth.