District Six Development Framework

Client(s): District Six Redevelopment and Beneficiary Trust
Date: 2005 - 2012
Area/Extent: 44 ha
Location:
Topic: Land Restitution
Partner(s): n/a
Spatial Framework
D6 and East City Development plan
Locality of D6

The Project Challenge

The return of land claimants who registered claims in terms of the Restitution of Land Rights Act (Act 22 of 1994) in District Six is long overdue. The challenge was to resettle ±1500 claimants whilst at the same time addressing the city-wide need for decent shelter in a good location supported by the necessary infrastructure in an appropriate and sustainable
urban form.

Land restitution in District Six is long overdue

Work on the Development Framework started in 2003 and is ongoing responding to a complex site, intricate set of political and community dynamics, and institutional challenges. A Draft document was work-shopped with the claimant community in 2006. This formed the basis of a second appointment to support the development of a Business Plan. The Phase 1 and Phase 2 Pilot Projects comprising 24 and 115 units respectively, and for which the planning aspects NM & Associates were responsible for, have been constructed and some have been occupied by predominantly elderly claimants.

In brief the Development Framework responds to the following:

  • The issue of social justice and the restoration of land rights that were lost as a result of forced removals;
  • The need to resettle approximately 1520 legitimate claimants; and
  • The need to plan for appropriate and efficient land use that addresses the needs of a new community comprising of claimants and nonclaimants.
  • The need to create social, environmental and economic value within an urban framework that is sufficiently viable by using land efficiently.

Principles & Approach

Overarching principles, which have shaped the framework include:

  • the need to create a sense of place, and identity using memory as a catalyst;
  • the need to reflect qualities of the historical scale of the original D6;
  • the need to ensure Integration with the surrounding context and inner city; and
  • the notion of public space and place making around key nodes as the most effective structuring elements of settlements

Proposals

The Development Framework indicates how a mix of land uses including approximately 5000 residential units, commercial, public facilities and public spaces and utilities can be accommodated on 40ha of land in the inner city. Aspects of the Framework include layers associated with the movement and access systems, the green continuities, the commercial framework and public structure with the contextual issues such as topography and heritage playing a significant role in shaping spatial responses. Density distribution and massing are of critical importance and have been a key focus of the framework.