Kelvin Green

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Overcoming the M5: An Approach to Reducing Inequality in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town

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Abstract

In recent times, plenty of global attention has turned towards the Black Lives Matter movement. The recently recognised injustices amongst people of colour globally has come to the forefront of many conversations, including that of spatial distribution among marginalised communities. An issue which many people do not believe still exists, is considered to be one of the largest drivers of unemployment, poverty and violence in specific communities. In the context of South Africa where segregation was enforced through oppressive system of apartheid, the legacy of racial injustice remains pronounced. The system was coupled with modernist planning principles to offered method to the grossly unethical ideologies which the apartheid regime aimed to uphold. In the context of Cape Town the city framework is cut by natural barriers, industrial belts and large scale infrastructural developments to forcefully segregate people by race. The M5 expressway runs between the city's major business district and the outer suburbs. This has a remarkable impact on the economic conditions on either side of the buffer zone. 

 

The research aims to understand the legacy of apartheid, in doing so setting up a foundation which is suitable for an intervention which overcomes such a barrier. The project explores the use of local precedents to understand why such interventions have not been successful and how theory can be best applied to create valuable frequented connections. Finding the key to the creation of pedestrian connections is the focus of this project's design. while the location is important, the design of the connection is fundamental to how successful the intervention will be. This design is characterised by placing emphasis on the ramp, exit/entry and hierarchy of the space to make users feel safe and encouraged to use the infrastructure.