Fostering Community at the Canterbury Street Lot

The goal of this project was to foster a greater sense of community at the “Canterbury Street Lot,” two city blocks in Cape Town with diverse and complex issues that play an important role in the lives of many homeless “street people.” Located in District Six, this low income area was decimated by the forced removal of people by the apartheid state in the 1960s and 1970s. Today, a variety of people can be found using the lot for different purposes such as for informal parking, to wait for services provided by the adjacent soup kitchen, to earn money through a gardening program, or as a home. The street people who call the lot home collect donations from people who park there. They are often marginalized by the general public and lack a sense of belonging. We formed a partnership with a group of street people, including some who reside on the lot, following introductions by representatives from the project’s sponsor, Khulisa Social Solutions. Through this collaboration, and engagements with people who frequent the lot, we designed and implemented a memory place and mural as a means to foster community in the area. This work brought about a shift in the social dynamics of the space and uncovered ideas for a formal proposal for the potential development of different areas of the Canterbury Street Lot.



Background Research
Explore the topics researched prior to our arrival in Cape Town and learn about some of the issues street people face and ways to improve their situation.

Meet our team: WPI students, sponsor, co-developers and partners.

Read about our mission, objectives and working approach. 

Process Narrative
Gain insight on some of our daily interactions with the community members.

Learn more about the results of this project and its methodology.

Find additional resources used during this project.



Contact Us
WPI Team: Miguel Escuer, Tatiana Loureiro, Keegan Train and Alicia Weber; (expires May 2017)

Cape Town Project Center:

Sponsor Liaison – Jesse Laitinen:

Sponsor – Khulisa Social Solutions:



To cite:

Escuer, M., Loureiro, T., Train, K., & Weber, A. (2015). Fostering Community at the Canterbury Street Lot. Worcester Polytechnic Institute Cape Town Project Centre.  Retrieved from