The Project Challenge
The focus of the Woodstock – Salt River Revitalisation Framework was on how to reinforce the environment as an “efficient and qualitative living environment”. Therefore, a holistic debate on inner city revitalisation had to move beyond issues of historic character, clean ups, crime and grime and respond to a range of more complex social and environmental issues. An extensive participation exercise allowed a wide range of views to be expressed that informed the analysis and outcomes.
The Framework put forward a broad strategic vision for the regeneration of the area. The vision was translated into a set of strategies and concrete proposals. Proposals included urban design interventions within public precincts with opportunities for historic preservation, the restoring of key public spaces and the reinforcement of economic opportunities associated with historic and cultural public spaces and main routes or corridors. The framework concluded with a spatial, social, economic and management strategy that comprised of bite-size projects that were sufficiently practical for community-based organizations to implement and sustain with limited funding and resources.
At the outset and throughout the process, the question of “an efficient and qualitative living environment” formed the basis of analysis for this strategic framework. The challenge was to address issues of quality and efficiency in a context of extreme diversity, living patterns and standards.
Principles & Approach
The approach was guided by the following requirements:
- To focus on People, Public Spaces and Places
- To be informed by social and environmental ethics
- To focus on means to generate economic possibilities for a range of operators
- To define roles and responsibilities associated to the tasks of taking proposals and strategies forward.
- To understand and be informed by the existing complexities and limitations specific to the area and similar inner city contexts
The urban design interventions were focused on three strategic precincts within the area including the following:
- Precinct 1: Trafalgar Park
- Precinct 2: Woodstock Town Hall
- Precinct 3: Salt River Market
Since completion of this body of work there has been investment in the Salt River Market and small interventions at the Town Hall by the City of Cape Town but of more significance is the level of private investment along Albert and Victoria Roads where considerable restoration and upgrade of old buildings has occurred through the establishment of parts of the area as an Urban Development Zone.