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31.07.2021

Spaces of Transformative Practice: Co-producing, (Re)Making and Translating Fractional Urban Space in Gugulethu, Cape Town

Zeitschrift:
Urban Forum
Autor:
Kathryn Ewing
Wichtige Hinweise
It is acknowledged the original paper was conceptualised by the author and submitted for the conference AAPS 2021 Urban Africa in the Twenty-First Century: Current Issues and Future Prospects of Urban Governance and Planning, Dar-es-Salaam, hosted by Institute of Spatial Planning (IRPUD), TU Dortmund University (Germany), Institute of Human Settlement Studies and School of Spatial Planning and Social Sciences, Ardhi University (Tanzania) and Association of African Planning Schools (AAPS) due to take place in 2021.

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Abstract

Reimagining neglected urban space offers the potential for social cohesion, integration, and connectivity. The intimate, interstitial or fractional spaces of a city represent a key component of social infrastructure in a neighbourhood. The smallest of interventions in urban space adds value and complexity to urban life. However, fractional, yet deeply transformative, urban space is often unrecognised and undocumented. Transformative practice seeks to accommodate, anticipate and represent inclusive public life but requires discovering new content and definitions on public space to decode emerging processes of incremental place-making in an African context. The narrative focuses on a network of place-making intervention projects as part of an urban upgrading programme in Lotus Park informal settlement, located in Gugulethu, Cape Town. A set of tracings, integrated with theoretical frames, reveal the impact of upgraded urban space through firstly, emerging centres and the (re)making of place on the periphery; secondly, disrupting edges and the co-production process involved in the negotiation of space; and lastly, crafting shadows and interpreting traces of micro-interventions. The purpose is to explore urban space as continually adapting to the intrusions in the city grid to translate (1) innovative modes of spatial production; (2) dynamic forms of local agency; (3) marginal ways of operating; and (4) interconnected and multi-scalar urban processes of everyday place-making. The practice of co-producing and (re)making urban space in Gugulethu uncovers alternate mechanisms for governance, partnerships and operations.

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