East City Precinct Design Code: Redevelopment through form-based codes

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This thesis confines itself to a consideration of urban development opportunity in the East City Precinct through the understanding of it former historical character and memory which can be implemented through Form Based Codes. It locates the design process in the sub-regional context and puts forward notional spatial proposal for the physical area of the East City Precinct and its surrounds. The application of theory is tested at precinct level and emphasis remains firmly on the public elements ordering the spatial structure. With all these considerations, this dissertation presents a piece of history of District Six and the importance of memory in relation to the East City. This contested site of memory and heritage informs the area’s contextual development amid the often-essentialising multicultural in particular to the ‘new South Africa’. In turn, an understanding of District Six’s urban quality which frames the intricacies of a restitution and redevelopment plan. It also illustrates the genuine uniqueness of its principles of urbanism, in contrast to market-oriented urban development which reproduces spaces of social fragmentation, exclusion and inequality. Indeed, the vision for the East City concerns long-term urban sustainability, an investment in a city of fluid spaces, a city of difference and meaning. This dissertation contends that there is a real role for urban and social sustainability in the redevelopment potential of the study area, with its historical, social, cultural and symbolic significance. Therefore its outline the key elements and principles for a development framework prepared for the study area and discuss the prospects for urban and social sustainability. This will inform where and how to apply form based codes with in the East City context.

Includes bibliographical references.