Studio Team Members
Submitted for Outstanding Student Project, Maryland Chapter American Planning Association 2007 Awards.
The report is the result of field research in McGregor and Cape Town, South Africa completed in June 2007 by a team comprised of five planning graduate students, a professional urban planner, and urban planning professor. It contains a survey of the housing and economic conditions of McGregor, and proposals for how community members might address problems in these areas. Like many towns and cities in South Africa, many residents of McGregor are living in substandard housing. We argue the solution to this problem must include not only well-designed new government housing, but also strategies to address the underlying cause: the social and economic inequality that exists in the town.
The report is divided into four parts.
Part One contains a summary of the system of local governance, population, private sector groups, and previous plans for McGregor. It also includes a summary of the broader provincial and national policy context for housing production. Proposals to adopt design review for new buildings and subdivision zoning to maintain the historical character have been adopted, however proposals to provide assistance to low income residents to maintain their homes have not been enacted.
Part Two contains a summary of the existing housing in McGregor. The town contains a collection of distinctive thatch-roofed cottages. Combined with the natural setting, the architecture has made the town highly desirable for vacationers who stay at several small inns, vacationers who have purchased or build vacation homes in the town, and retirees who have chosen to reside there. However, housing in the colored community, who make up the majority of the population, is generally substandard.
Part Three contains a discussion of new housing for the community. It contains an analysis of each potential site discussed for new housing including site plans obtained from the municipality, and a proposal for a site selection criteria and committee. It also includes a discussion of alternative designs for government housing and a proposal for a home renovation fund for the poor.
Lastly, Part Four contains a discussion of both the economy of McGregor and its region, and a consideration of the relationship between the economy and housing provision. The report argues a successful housing strategy must address the town’s poverty through diversification and policies that result in greater direct participation in the local economy.