Friday, August 21, 2009

High-rise flats for the homeless makes complete sense - or does it?

“It is not in our culture to stay in flats. We need houses so that we can practice our customs .”

SHOOT: There are a few points to consider, chief among them, is living in a multi-story building society-enhancing? Does it lead to happy communities or do the more compact living arrangements promote criminal activity? Then there is also the question of energy. High rise building are less energy efficient than european style multi-use buildings, often 4 story's high. Houses/suburbia aren't the answer either, as these promote a car dependent and energy dependent system. The answer is designing a walkable community around a town plan, having a multidisplinary [multi-use] approach to buildings.
clipped from
THE City of Cape Town is planning to build 14-storey blocks of flats in a bid to beat its massive housing backlog.

City housing director Hans Smit said yesterday that the buildings would be grouped in a “town” around facilities such as shops, community centres and schools.

There would be about 200 housing units in each block and from 5000 to 6000 units in each town.

About 400000 people in Cape Town need houses. The city says 87percent of those living in shacks and backyard rooms earn less than R3500 a month.

Between 18000 and 20000 families seek accommodation every year but the city was only building 10000 units annually.

Smit said 10000 hectares of land would be needed to eliminate the housing backlog.

Mzwanele Zulu of the Joe Slovo Task Team, which organises the informal settlement residents in Langa, said they had to consult the people first.

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