Urban Design Framework for an Intergrated Neighbourhood. Slovo Park Johannesburg

Perspective 1


Michael Hart Architects. Urban Designers were appointed as Urban Design consultants to develop an Urban Design Framework for the upgrade and extension of the Informal settlement known as Joe Slovo. The settlement is located in the township of Coronationville on the boundary with the township of  Crosby in Region B Johannesburg.


The locality of the informal settlement and the acquired land to the north and the east of the settlement offer the opportunity to extend the development over a larger area offering a Greenfields element to the proposed development. The larger development offers the opportunity to link with surrounding road networks to the north, west and east.

The southern edge is bounded by the railway reserve, forming a hard boundary edge to the new development.

The study area shall include the suburbs of Coronationville and Crosby including major roads that carry public transportation, such as Fuel Road, Main Reef Road and Perth Avenue.

The new neighbourhood development of Slovo Park shall be well linked to the flanking neighbourhoods of Crosby and Coronationville by connecting existing movement networks. This shall encourage opportunities of an improved mixed use neighbourhood that includes retail and commercial activities. The direct linkages from neighbouring areas will inform a wider consumer catchment, allowing the future economic sustainability for the area under study.

jhb city1Urban Design Approach


Lines of movement shall be direct and convenient; this will improve the routing of public transportation, direct movement for private vehicles and open up access for pedestrians and bicycles in an east west direction.

Pedestrian Orientated Design

The approach aims to create an equality of dominance between Vehicle and Pedestrian priorities. This approach leads to a clear definition of road hierarchies. Public Transportation, vehicular collector roads, Neighbourhood roads and pedestrian / private vehicular roads with an integrated street edge.

The fine grain block layout creates a walkable neighbourhood. The inclusion of mid block pedestrian “right of way” paths have been designed to link the high level public transport route with mixed use nodes of community / retail and recreational facilities node. The pedestrian right of way is flanked on either side with activity generating uses such as retail shops, in- formal and formal trading opportunities. The pedestrian right of way shall also create linkages in an east west direction into erven housing larger more formal mixed-uses.(food stores, restaurants, food take always, entertainment and office uses.

Economic Development opportunities for small scale economic

Employment generation is a major objective of the developmental process. The objective shall outline a process of economic empowerment and employment generation in later chapters. It is proposed that the initial infrastructure investment shall be directed to road networks and trading related sites and services. This shall enable people to create a foothold on an economic basis assisting them to afford an improved lifestyle. The majority of low income or unem- ployed people who will be attracted to this new neighbourhood form part of the “informal sector”. It is therefore important to align Urban Markets with public spaces; pedestrian movement routes and public transportation pick up and drop off points, allowing entrepreneurs to respond appropriately to urban structuring. Urban traders markets shall be delivered by the local authorities providing an entry point for informal.

Creating access accross the site allows for the connecting of neighbouring movement patterns. This will encourage activity and improved economic opportunities.

  • Markets in low-income areas can provide a service to consumers. Offering variety, choice of goods and services on a localised
    • The urban markets locality links via pedestrian routes to other forms of public infrastructure, such as community hall, crèche, clinic, public square, parks and religious gathering points reinforcing the viability of public investment and social
    • Engineering services required include, municipal and/or harvested water, public toilets, refuse storage facilities, and refuse removal ser- vices, security and electricity / gas for cooking and
  1. Public Realm Investment
  •  The public realm offers a multifaceted element to the development of neighbourhoods. The public realm shall offer choice and diversity for people who live, work or visit the
  • The public realm shall be designed to respond to the users needs, enhance new opportunities and encourage a sense of pride and ownership. This will achieve a respect for the environment and improve sustainability and economic growth of the initial
  • The environment shall be designed to encourage activity and positive social interaction. The architectural charac- ter shall be one that responds to the local climate, demon- strates innovative use of materials, colour and
  • The public environment shall provide facilities and amenities to enable a quality of liveability that encourages active participation and convenient use by residents. Public facilities shall be located within the hierarchy order

Movement patterns are based on linking with neighbouring streets and creating small and mid size blocks, encouraging the walkability of the neighbourhood. Each block may be developed to a medium density, Some blocks may be further subdivided creating a dense fine grained urban environment.