regenerative cape town: imizamo yethu urban upgrade
Rapid urbanisation and the informalisation of cities in developing (post-colonial) countries are two fundamental realities that are beginning to shape the sort of urban space that a greater proportion of the world will become accustomed to in coming decades. Informal settlements or urban slums are growing in size and population at a rate that far exceeds that of the developed and formal city. This is due to unprecedented rates of urban migration, as more previously rural individuals move to cities As such, many end up competing over scant resources, and thus rely on make-shift and self-sufficient ways to survive the increasingly complex environments in which they reside.
Framing the city as a complex system becomes a way to analyse and understand how our built environments are not just congregations of buildings, but are rather growing organic masses of concrete, steel, and modified vegetation fed by finite natural resources and infinite human ingenuity.
This dissertation seeks to establish how the dynamics of the informal city gives rise to an adaptive and resilient urbanism, which despite its outward appearance serves much of the same functions as its better-developed counterparts. Engaging our informal spaces from this perspective of learning is used to promote how human-centric development can be used to incorporate communities in the process of informal settlement upgrading in a more holistic and transformative manner.