Design for social innovation : a case study of Human Centered Design in Khayelitsha

Detta är en Uppsats för yrkesexamina på avancerad nivå från SLU/Dept. of Urban and Rural Development

Sammanfattning: During the last decade the world’s urban population has grown extensively and today more than half of the global population lives in cities. Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) is currently the fastest urbanizing region in the world and the change is concentrated to a few metropolitan areas. South Africa is one of the countries in the SSA region that early got to experience high rates of urbanization. In 1960 Johannesburg became the first city in the region to exceed 1 million inhabitants soon followed by Cape Town. Due to the extensive governmental interference during the apartheid years (1948- 1994) South Africa has an unusual urbanization process. Even though apartheid was abolished over 20 years ago its legacy is still a dominant feature in many South African city structures, one of them being Cape Town. Through the history Cape Town has been formed by numerous of laws and zoning rules. The city structure is shattered, divided into small islands keeping the diverse population and its different livelihoods separated from each other. The majority of the poor population lives in the fringes of the city, far away from economic and social opportunities. Today the spatial planning system of Cape Town does not appoint with the existing poverty in an efficient way making it hard to create opportunity for bottom-up development, much needed when the formal economy has failed to absorb the mostly unskilled job seekers. In line with a bottom-up approach participatory practices have shown to be successful. This thesis aims to investigate how participatory practices can be implemented in planning and design to create opportunities for social development in an economically and socially marginalized community. This has been done through a case study of Human Centered Design (HCD) in a site-specific design project in the township Khayelitsha, Cape Town. The site-specific project demonstrates how the method of HCD could be implemented while developing an activity centre for youth and focus on the value of HCD as a participatory tool when designing for social innovation. The result reveals that power relationships within the group can have a great impact on the result because of the highly social nature of a participatory process, and that it’s important to distinguish the long-term opportunities from the wishes that could be resolved immediately. When it comes to development of participatory practices landscape architecture can contribute greatly serving as a link between the physical, ecological and social aspects needed to create holistic environments for the future.

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