Urban Groundworks at Cape Town City Hall
The Urban Groundworks contribution to the City Desired exhibition at Cape Town City Hall presents the first stage in the community-driven urban upgrade process currently taking place in the BT-Section of Khayelitsha. Rooted firmly in this bottom-up process of urban transformation, the focus lies on site analysis, mapping, and the tools and acts of negotiation in reshaping the urban environment. The aim is to reveal the significance of place making through direct stakeholder participation. In addition, the exhibition catalogue offers a report on a long-term, integrated research program run by the Urban-Think Tank Chair of Architecture and Urban Design at ETH Zürich, in collaboration with Cape Town-based NGO, Ikhayalami, and community members of BT-Section.
The activities displayed in Urban Groundworks form part of the broader Empower Shack project led by Urban-Think Tank and collaborating partners. What began as a design and build workshop that aimed at developing an affordable and sustainable shack prototype for Khayelitsha, has evolved into a more ambitious project to devise and implement design, methodological and analytical innovations for rapid and incremental shack upgrading on an urban scale, supported by community-driven spatial planning and multifaceted livelihoods programming.