Urban Upgrading in Ladysmith, S. Africa

Topic: Urban Design Framework for Ladysmith/Emnambithi Local Municipality, South Africa

Sponsor: South Africa Neighbourhood Development Partnership Grant

Project Duration: 2010                          View Gallery

The Challenge

Ezakheni Township in Emnambithi/Ladysmith Municipality is an economically distressed township located 3.5 hours southeast of Johannesburg. The area has seen decades of out-migration and population decline. Key planning issues affecting Ezakheni include inadequate transportation and infrastructure networks, land fragmentation and urban sprawl, underused open space and vacant land, few commercial centers, and few employment opportunities.

In the face of these challenges, the local government has been motivated to improve the quality of life of local residents, enhance the town’s image, strengthen connections to the nearby larger town, and improve internal circulation. Given local commitment and national funding support, Ezakheni has opportunities to renew and grow.

Our Initiative

Working in collaboration with Worley Parsons Engineers based in South Africa, I2UD provided technical assistance to Ezakheni. The team developed a regeneration plan and an urban design framework as part of a broader township regeneration plan. We also identified key development projects to be considered for funding. The physical strategies of the urban design framework focused on renewal, connectivity and socioeconomic integration. We presented the final urban design framework to the Municipality in conjunction with Worley Parson’s presentation for the business cases, contextual analysis and environmental analysis.

Achievements to Date
Construction of a taxi rank and other key interventions proposed as part of I2UD’s urban regeneration plan for the Township of Ezakheni has begun with funding from the Neighbourhood Development Partnership Grant of the South African National Treasury. The Treasury has also agreed to provide funding for an entrance feature to the town as well as a public park, and has approved the upgrading of a key vehicular bridge by early 2012.

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