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community adaptability and spatial agency in the bo kaap

This project aims to offer a spatial response that assists in the adaptability of the Malay community within the changing urban landscape of the Cape Town inner city. A series of urban regeneration interventions have resulted in the Bo Kaap experiencing high volumes of gentrification since the 1980s. Starting with restoration efforts, there is concern that the Bo Kaap will develop into an urban quarter whereby its architecture will be preserved at the expense of its original inhabitants. The fine grain embodies an intangible heritage that binds community networks together. It is useless retaining the fine grain without the original occupants. This body of work aims to assess the effect that gentrification has had on the socio-cultural life of the Malay community, to offer a design response that facilitates community longevity and adaptability. Community participation within the negotiation process of the area’s future development is encouraged and will allow for successful adaptation for years to come.

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nathan eisen

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