Informal settlements are found all around the world. Overcrowded cities and saturated job markets have created a need for temporary squatter camps. Although this is a global problem, our project was focused on the redevelopment of Monwabisi Park an informal settlement located on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa in the township of Khayelitsha.

monwabisi - background

The construction of housing in Monwabisi Park is inadequate. The community members currently live in self-built shacks made from materials that are readily available. The shacks are extremely versatile, inexpensive and can be built in a matter of days. Despite these benefits, the shacks face a variety of problems such as leaky roofs, poor insulation and inadequate ventilation. For more information, go to the background section of the Housing Report.

For the residents of this community to obtain the levels of redevelopment that are desired, new housing is necessary. EcoBUILD Technologies has played a close role in the planning of new housing and this company’s construction method will be the primary construction method used when housing redevelopment efforts move forward.  EcoBEAM is an eco-friendly and sustainable building system that allows for the use of unskilled labour, on-site construction and does not require electricity. Although the majority of construction work can be done with unskilled labour, it is necessary for a skilled foreman to oversee the project. Overtime as the labourers skills develop, their roles on the construction site may change so that they gain more responsibility. For more information, go to the plan implementation section of the Housing Report.

community centre section c

There are not enough formal places in Monwabisi Park designed specifically for people to meet, sick to receive care, and/or guests to stay.  Some services can be carried out in churches, shabeens and current shacks, but there is a need for community centres in each section of Monwabisi Park. There is a community centre in Section C known as the Indlovu Project that is presently being built by the Shaster Foundation. The community centre is cost-effective, sustainable and promotes community involvement. It should be studied, from construction types to the services offered, so that similar community centres can be planned in the future. For more information, go to the background section of the Community Centre Report.

    The community centre in Section C is being constructed by ecoBUILD Technologies in order to keep with the values of eco-friendly building. To make the project sustainable the labour used will be, for the most part, unskilled and from the community. The community centre is a communal space shared by all residents of Monwabisi Park. This idea will promote community involvement with the construction of the community centre in Section C as well as structures to be built in the future. For more information, go to the plan implementation section of the Community Centre Report.

    playground (2)Several of the crèche’s within Monwabisi Park already have playgrounds, but there are not enough safe areas designed specifically for children to play. The location of playgrounds should be easily accessible in relation to where children already congregate, facilitate and promote supervision and be near youth centres or crèches that have already been built. This makes the Indlovu Project in Section C a logical choice for a new playground. By using materials that are readily available, one can limit costs and create a playground that is sustainable and reproducible within other sections of the settlement.

    Author: WPI CT09 Buildings