A Place under the Sun for Everyone

Master Thesis, Vienna University of Technology, A Place under the Sun for Everyone – basis for planning of integrative urban development and appropriate architecture through the analysis of formal and non-formal spatial practice in Cosmo City, Johannesburg, 2010

The showcase-project and field of research, the Housing Development Cosmo City in Johannesburg, is aimed at satisfying the constitutional right to adequate housing for all South Africans and simultaneously addressing the integration and interaction between different income classes.

In the study – A place under the sun, we learn to read spatial configuration and the behavioural patterns assigned to them in an unfamiliar cultural context and milieu. Focus of the research was put on strategies of occupation and integration in the satellite-town and its inhabitants resettled from the informal settlement Zevenfontein and Riverbend.

The acquisition of a basic vocabulary of formal and non-formal interventions in the built environment – Levels of Alteration, Separation, Security and Service in private and public space – serve the purpose of identifying recurring patterns, which can be categorized into typologies by correlating interpretation of size, form and function.

The translation into graphical description and the placing of spatial interventions and generated typologies of attractors in Google Earth, enables the analysis in different scale and time.The three-dimensional information on morphology, dynamics, relations, connection, array and dependency serve identification of potential or challenging spaces of development and spatial trends in the settlement.

The produced knowledge creates a polylog for integration of non-formal infrastructure, income strategies and spatial needs in considerations of requirements from government, developers and contractors.

This serves the development of semi-formal regulations (zoning, building) as responsive strategies of design and planning for continuously modifying systems.

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