The repurposing of the Bellville Marshalling Yard: Achieving an spatially efficient and equitable Metropolitan Cape Town

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Metropolitan Cape Town is a city that is characterised by immense scenic beauty which has propelled the city to become one of the top tourist destinations in the world. However, if one explores deeper past the intimate streets of the central city and natural beauty of the Table Mountain, one finds a city that is wrought with a lack of functionality and a generally poor urban experience The city is plagued by the shortcomings of modernist planning and Apartheid spatial segregation which translate in a city which is devoid of appropriate located activity and a separation of land uses and people. Therefore, the majority of the Cape Town built from is devoid of character and activity of which the historic centre enjoys. Through a thorough analysis, I identified key limiting factors within the urban form of Cape Town. These were primarily attributed to the overwhelming tendency for car dominant planning and the presence of limitless sprawl. It was also acknowledge that separate development and modernist planning ideals still permeate through the urban form and significantly limits the urban experience. This dissertation identified key interventions which attempted at bringing back a sense of place to soulless communities. The primarily focus was on the emphasis on activity corridor development and the implementation of high density infill development. This afford opportunities to curb urban sprawl and to bring citizens closer to economic and social services which are significantly lacking in the poorer peripheral areas. Lastly, this document highlight efficient precinct design criteria and the effective and efficient division of land. In conclusion, it was identified that it is paramount to undo the misconceptions of developing a city which is simply drivable and focus more on development that create liveable cities.

Includes bibliographical references.