Urban design framework plan

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					Urban Design Framework plan to inform the development and upgrading of
informal settlements

1. Introduction

Urban design services are required in order to develop an overall urban design
framework plan which presents an integrated and coherent approach to the
redevelopment and upgrading of the identified settlements. The framework must take
into account and be aligned with the principles and objectives of the National
Housing Code for the Upgrading of Informal Settlements, Volume 4, National
Department of Human Settlements.

Informal settlement upgrading and development by its very nature requires a strong
emphasis and focus on residential communities. The urban design approach
therefore needs to respond to the nature, form and dynamics that are evident in the
existing settlements, as well as the potential impact of development options and
proposals that emerge from the urban design framework.

2. General objectives

The outcome of the informal settlement upgrading process should:

      Provide a good quality and sustainable living environment which adds to the
       long term asset-base of the city, as opposed to a concern simply with shelter

      Minimise disruption of existing social and economic capital/network and
       where possible build onto the existing settlement pattern in order to support
       community processes

      Promote the development of appropriate housing solutions that can be
       consolidated and upgraded over time, thus allowing for the incremental
       consolidation of the residential fabric

      Integrate and connect the settlement to existing city/urban structures by
       extended vehicular access and pedestrian networks with a clear hierarchy
       and appropriate standards

      Preserve individual capital investment

      Enhance economic, social and environmental sustainability

      Maximise the yield of available land for residential and other supportive uses

3. Description of the assignment

The vast majority of households fall below the R3 500 limit required for subsidy
assistance, which defines the issue of affordability. However, there are some
households which, although very poor, do not qualify for the subsidy for a variety of
reasons. These members of the community also need to be accommodated. Suitable
alternatives must be explored as part of the project process to insure that everyone
affected by the development is provided for.
3.1       Project objectives

The urban design framework should further inform the overall project vision. The
project objectives will be specific to the context and characteristic of the project area.
The following are an indication of some critical aspects to be considered:

       Promote integration with adjacent communities

       Improve access to the city and main economic centres

         Define spaces and create places for social and community interaction

       Ameliorate the effects of poverty through investment in infrastructure and
        improvement in coverage and quality of social services

       Upgrade, develop and formalise the existing settlement

       Monitor and evaluate processes, programmes and institutional developments

3.2       Scope of work

The consultant team will have to advise on the extent and nature of community
consultation and primary data collection required to inform the overall process and
produce the required deliverables. The urban design team needs to indicate in their
proposal if additional expertise is required to complement their work and fulfill their

The urban design framework should follow and respond to a structured and managed
community participation process. The methodology and programme must integrate
the community input at various stages of the planning process to ensure that all
aspects are considered. The plans and options need be understood and workshops
with the resident community must take place before proceeding with the next stage
of work. The basic components should include the following:

     Data collection - The collection and collation of all primary and secondary data
      on the existing settlement and any existing planning and design initiatives that
      exist on the settlements or are related to the settlements. This information should
      be used as a basis to inform the urban design framework, as well as issues
      identified in specialist studies commissioned for the purpose of this project.

     Status quo report – To provide a summary of critical findings related to existing
      conditions, especially to the socio-economic profile, demographics, morphology
      and mapping opportunities and constraints affecting the existing settlement.

     Contextual framework – To provide the development concept for the sites and
      broader environment. Essentially, this should focus on positive integration with
      surrounding areas and with the larger systems of the city.

     A spatial development framework – For the sites as a totality. This should
      focus on the relationship between the main elements of public infrastructure such

i) Movement system At the regional, district and local level including vehicular
movement, public transport, non-motorized movement and pedestrian networks
to maximise access and permeability.

ii) Land use distribution Including conservation areas, public open space
system, community facilities, schools, utility services, mixed use, retail,
commercial and production /food or construction materials if applicable.

iii) Density assessment Alternative settlement configuration should be explored
to illustrate alternative density distribution of the residential population along with
that of other land uses within the settlement.

iv) Precinct structure Define areas of particular character, potential or social
cohesion requiring specific guidelines for consolidation and treatment, including
areas of cultural significance that need to be preserved and integrated into the
plan. These areas could include religious spaces and buildings, social gathering
spaces, markets, ceremonial spaces etc. The geometry and proposed layouts
should be informed by housing choices and by the need for pedestrian
permeability and connectivity to the rest of the area.

v) Block structure Functional response to the land subdivision taking into
account local authority standards to provide access and services to all stands
responding to existing building patterns. Optimise sun exposure to every stand
and respond to ecological, geological and topographic imperatives. Block types
should incorporate and define areas for in situ upgrade and new infill
opportunities. Block structure and layout should integrate organic patterns
deriving from the existing settlement structure incorporating orthogonal and
dendritic geometries.

vi) Residential typologies Provide a range of housing typologies including the
use of existing structures responding to community needs and requirements in
terms of affordability levels and tenure system.

vii) Social capital network Fine grain commercial and economic activities
including location, hierarchy, type and scale.

 viii) Energy efficiency Green building considerations in terms of services and
sustainable use of materials.

   Site plans - typical site configuration to accommodate existing and new
    buildings taking into account building orientation, house types, relationship to
    the street, use of private and semi-private spaces

   House types - document houses to be retained and illustrate additional
    housing types suitable to the development showing how they can
    expand/grow, adapt and accommodate other uses

   Technological components - provide standards and norms around
    construction technology, materials, plot sizes and typologies, which are
    responsive to the needs of the resident community, making incremental
    housing feasible and affordable

   Monitoring and evaluation - asses the outcomes of the special development
    framework, in the context to its functionality and within the requirements of
    the project, and evaluate how well it has responded to strategic
    developmental goals set by the community participation process
3.3 Deliverables

The following deliverables are expected from the urban design consultant team:

     Project vision and approach informed by the contextual and urban design
     Spatial development framework with a high level implementation and roll-out plan
      to guide the overall development dealing with:

          o   land matters
          o   town planning
          o   infrastructure matters
          o   integration and sustainability issues
          o   community consultation
          o   housing solutions and options
          o   overall processes

     Presentation/s and reporting on the urban design framework development
     Liaison and interface with technical teams/project manager appointed to do the
      individual site technical evaluations

3.4       Structure and phasing of the work

The proposed structure and phasing of the investigation is detailed in the table
below. The service provider should develop a detailed methodology on how each
phase will be approached:

    Phase           Project activities

    Pre-Inception   Inception meeting
                    Inception report
    PART 1          Mapping study area and collecting information
                    Consultations and desktop research
                    Primary data collection
    PART 2          Preparation of contextual urban design framework and identification of
                    opportunities and constraints
    PART 3          Development of urban design framework and preparation of spatial development
    PART 4          Considering project vision and overall plan for implementation of the proposed
    PART 5          Reporting

    PART 6          Monitoring and evaluation of project in terms of objectives and cost parameters

4.        Other considerations

     i)    Sustainability and livelihood

     Focus on the various areas of living which are integral to the project, as well as to
     the livelihood of the community involved, such as:

     -     Harvesting rain water Capturing of water locally, particularly within ever
           expanding water-scarce regions, is an important consideration.

     -     Food security Already a significant issue which is growing in importance and
           has become an essential component in the design and planning of
           sustainable settlements.

     -     Disposal of storm water Issues around storm water runoff are heightened in
           areas in which the water table is high, particularly in low-lying, flat and sandy
           regions. Storm water attenuation ponds and other devices must be
           introduced to minimise and control runoff.

     -     Keeping livestock Investigations required to establish the extent of the
           practice. In cases where it is found to be extensive the development of
           hygienic means of livestock management and its interface with human
           settlement is necessary.

     -     Generating small business opportunities With high unemployment many
           people have no option but to generate their own livelihoods through either
           the informal sector or home-based activities. Thus there needs to be the
           allocation of good accessible locations for small-scale manufacture and

     -     Market and trading spaces Special attention must be given to the provision
           and locality of trading spaces regarding health and safety standards with
           regard to the marketing of cooked and perishable foods and the ongoing
           management of these facilities.

     -     Energy efficient technologies The potential use of various alterative
           technologies such as solar energy should be investigated. In addition
           opportunities for future conversions should be left open.

     -     Powerline servitude In areas affected by power lines, servitude
           considerations must be made because of their impact on public health.
           Residential development should not occur within the specified servitude area.
           Proper investigations should be conducted to assess the best ways of
           utilising the land, such as the incorporation of a green buffer integrated into
           the open space system.

     (ii) Integration

     This requires integration and connection of the existing settlements to the
     broader area.

     (iii) Structural clarity and legibility

     The plan should reflect clearly hierarchies of movement and public spaces so
     that it is easily readable and it transmits clear locational messages. If public
     institutions are required, the location of these should be informed by this logic.

(iv) The significance of public life

Almost by definition, the amount of private space which can be afforded by each
household will be small. A significant amount of daily living will occur outdoors.
The quality of the public space, such as street space, piazzas or squares and so
on, will be critical in determining quality of life and levels of dignity. Good public
spaces have a number of discernable qualities:

They are defined and enclosed – they do not ‘bleed’ out

They are protected from the extremes of the elements

They are humanly-scaled

They are surveyed through the presence of human eyes from flanking buildings

The primary responsibility of buildings is to define and make the public space

(v) Choice

It is important that choice should be maximised. Choices are of two main kinds:

Lifestyle choices Here the main distinction is between more public and more
private ways of living

Choice of plot configuration Different plot configurations suggest different
building responses which is an important consideration to avoid monotony

(vi) Safety and security

The environment should be as safe as possible. A number of factors impact on

Surveillance This is one of the primary considerations. International precedent
shows that the most important factor affecting safety is ‘eyes over the space’. To
this end all public space should be able to be surveyed by its users.

Lighting All important walkways should be well-lit at night.

Dead-edges These should be avoided to the greatest degree possible.
Similarly, no back-yards should abut onto public space or street space.

Safety from fire This concern has a number of implications:

- Certain streets should also play the role of fire-breaks

- A fire hose must be able to reach all parts of the settlement

- Emergency vehicles should be able to get close to all parts of the settlement

- Measures that are deemed to satisfy the health and safety requirements of
  SANS 0400 should be investigated and applied inventively

(vii) Incrementally

By definition, the quantity of top-structures that can be provided for initially is
limited. Opportunities to expand units over time are essential. This has
significant implications for the nature of the plan.

     (viii) Flexibility

     An important part of the housing system should be flexibility. Units must be able
     to accommodate changing requirements over time, for example, single to
     multiple households, lodging, and work from home.

     (ix) Process

     An inevitable consequence when too few people are involved in the housing
     process is sterility and monotony. The housing process, therefore, needs to be
     carefully designed in order to be responsive to the needs of the community, as
     well as guided by clear objectives.

5.   Pre-implementation planning and evaluation


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Programme[Online].Available from:
[Accessed:25 January 2011]

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Governments and Slum-dwellers, building a just society that ensures a better life for
all [Online]. Available from:
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0Subsidy%20Quantum%20-%20Incremental%20Interventions.pdf. [Accessed:25
January 2011]

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from: [Accessed: 25
January 2011]

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Study [Online]. Available from:
goven02.pdf. [Accessed: 25 January 2011]

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Facing the Challenges of Informal Settlements in Urban Centers: The Re-
Urbanization of Manaus, Brazil [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 17 January 2011]

Nairobi City Water & Sanitation Company & Athi Water Services board (2009)
Improving Water and Sanitation in the Informal Settlements: Guidelines for Nairobi
[Online]. Available from:
[Accessed: 25 January 2011]

Smit. W (2005) 10 Things to Remember about Informal Settlement Upgrading
[Online]. Available from:
[Accessed:25 January 2011]

The World Bank (2001) Favela Bairro Project Brazil [Online]. Available from:
[Accessed: 17 January 2011]


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