New urbanism heralds a return to the old

Posted On Wednesday, 05 June 2002 10:01 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
Rate this item
(0 votes)

NEW urbanism, the concept that produced Melrose Arch, a R3bn mixed-use development north of Johannesburg, is a return to the socially friendly settlement of old, says Paul Murrain, director of UK group Urban Design.

 

Property-Housing-ResidentialMurrain, who was part of Melrose Arch's urban landscaping design team, says new urbanism embraces the theoretical principles that produced old cities.

It brings together in a single space a number of key features encompassing residence, workplace, retail and other social amenities such as schools and churches.

Murrain says it is a move away from principles that produced modern suburbs, most of which are essentially hideouts for the super-rich.

Many suburban areas, especially in SA, developed far from city centres, underpinned by the thought that tranquility came with exclusiveness and isolation. Because of this, social amenities like shopping malls were developed at some distance from residential areas.

However, the perimeter wall around Melrose Arch and seen in other developments purporting to embrace new urbanism challenges Murrain's view that the concept is founded on 'socially friendly' principles.

Murrain says the wall was introduced by local security consultants; despite it, the development's street design integrates perfectly with the surrounding structures.

Future developments, he says, ought to consider transparent perimeter fences to keep the image friendly, but secure.

Housing for low-income earners needs to be included in these developments, he says. It is in the UK.

Still in its infancy in SA, new urbanism appears set for takeoff. The concept has also been embraced by Cape Town's multibillionrand Century City, which encompasses commercial, retail and residential components.

Murrain spoke at the SA Property Owners' Association annual convention in Durban last week.

Last modified on Tuesday, 27 May 2014 08:52

Most Popular

University of Fort Hare construction resumes

Jun 18, 2020
Construction of UFH Student Housing
Following two months of hard lockdown, the development of a 2 047-bed student village at…

Redefine’s European logistics platform set to expand its footprint in Poland

Jun 17, 2020
Andrew Konig CEO Redefine
JSE listed diversified real estate investment trust Redefine Properties (JSE: RDF) along…

Stor-Age Property REIT continues outperforming JSE indices with healthy dividend

Jun 22, 2020
Stor Age CEO Gavin Lucas
JSE REIT Stor-Age, South Africa’s leading and largest self storage property fund,…

Heartwood Properties reports encouraging results for the period ending February 2020

Jun 18, 2020
John Whall Heartwood Properties
Encouraging financial results revealed by 4AX listed company Heartwood Properties Cape…

Atterbury Property Holdings appoints DC Kemp as Chief Financial Officer

Jun 19, 2020
DC Kemp Atterbury new CFO
Atterbury Property Holdings has appointed DC Kemp as its CFO effective from 1 July 2020.

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.