Drawing on its roots as a relocation camp, KwaMashu Town Centre aims connects with its inhabitants
In 1949 the Apartheid Act in South Africa, allowed the city to relocate and demolish shack residents that emerged during the 1920’s, which led to Relocation Camps on the outskirts of the city. Kwa Mashu was one such camp, located 25 kilometres from Durban, where African residents were excluded from the city.
The current programme aims to improve economic development, infrastructure, sustainability and living conditions, integrating Kwa Mashu into the economic mainstream of the city, and its surroundings. The existing Town Centre is predominantly pedestrianised, where many of the residents have home-based businesses. The existing Town Layout has been overlayed by a proposed “Urban Mend”, ensuring respect for existing settlement patterns. The proposal emphasises the integration of “Segments” and a network of Radiating Walkways from the transport node with the Kwa Mashu Station as the fulcrum. The array of Segments stimulates sub-areas of character within the town, while the radiating walkways allow for interaction into the surrounding residential quarters. Collectively these Segments facilitate the integration of daily functions of urban life where living, working and playing occurs in the same place. A Sport and Recreational Segment transverses the Town from the highest northern end,ramping as a series of public spaces towards the Railway Station, which includes a Fifa Training Stadium for the 2010 World Cup, a Sports Park and the Rehabilitation of an existing Wetland supporting Urban Agriculture.
The new road network is integrated into the existing system enhancing access and linkages. Improvement on the visual and spatial qualities of the town and reclaiming waste space will enhance a sense of place, security and ascertain a positive platform for economic development. Ensuring the improvement of Traditional Cultural and Township life.