The role of streets in supporting social and economic development has been recognised and documented all around the world. Most of this work has been developed in first world economies, but important work is being done across the African continent at large; our speakers will zoom in on such work in Cape Town and Windhoek. This event and exhibition hopes to be the beginning of a longer conversation about streets and emerging township economies.
We have found that there is a rich and diverse range of work currently happening on the part of bureaucrats, technocrats, academics, non-profits and local business people. This event is an opportunity to showcase some of this work, generate dialogue and inspire people to open their minds to the possibilities of township streets and economies.
We have pulled together some leading thinkers and subject matter experts to share their experiences and learnings. In addition, a panel discussion will form the main event of the evening, ensuring that the voices of the people who participate in this vital part of city life are part of the conversation. We are therefore inviting some of the individuals who were involved in the studies and initiatives to participate in an interactive session as part of the event to reflect on these learnings and share with us their views on how street design processes could achieve better outcomes.
While the event will take place on the 18th of June, the material will remain as an exhibit in the concourse of the Civic Centre for the entire week. Our choice of venue is deliberate and symbolic. By inviting township streets into the heart of the administration we hope to make these spaces more visible and use this platform to carry on the discussion that is already happening on the streets. We hope that these conversations will continue and enrich our experiences and appreciation of streets.
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Fadly Isaacs and Melinda Silverman - UCT Design Research Studio: SPACE OF GOOD HOPE
Fadly and Melinda co-convene an architectural design research studio at the University of Cape Town's Architecture, Planning and Geomatics Department that is focused in Delft. The project is entitled “Space of Good Hope” and looks at lived realities and conditions of scarcity, innovation and adaptation on the Cape Flats. As this is the third year of their research project, this event is an opportunity for them to give feedback on key findings and lessons and potentially exhibit some of their work.
Andrew Charman - Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation: TOWNSHIP ECONOMIES
Andrew is a Director at the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation. He trained as a sociologist and development economist. His current research focuses on understanding the scope, scale and spatiality of the township informal economy through an examination of area case studies. His interests include studying the dynamics of micro-enterprises and entrepreneurship as well as understanding the politics of informality. His recent work on Main Road Delft, Ivory Park and Eveline Street Windhoek provide fascinating insights into streets and township economies.
Charles Rudman - City of Cape Town: PUBLIC SECTOR INITIATIVES
Charles Rudman is the District Manager for Development Management in the Khayelitsha Mitchells Plain and Blue Downs District. His unconventional and pragmatic approach to land use management has catalyzed innovation and collaboration with local communities and township developers finding their way through the regulatory system. Charles will speak to the role of the public planner and share insights into initiatives in the City of Cape, such as the Small and Micro Enterprise Overlay Zone, the proactive rezoning of Washington Street in Langa and the regularisation of 203 house shops in Mitchells Plain.
Photo by Mario Morgan