top of page

Urban Design

Screenshot 2023-06-12 at 10.12.48.png

Cadre is proud to have in its employ and consultant network numerous highly qualified professionals, all of whom are registered with the South African National Council for Planners (SACPLAN) and urban designers registered with the Urban Design Institute of South Africa (UDISA). 

Urban design in South Africa is a dynamic and evolving field that aims to shape the physical layout and organisation of urban areas in the country. With a rich cultural and historical heritage, South Africa's urban design reflects a diverse range of influences, including traditional African architecture, colonial-era architecture and design, and modern urban planning practises.

Historical Context:
South Africa's cities were shaped by its history, particularly the legacy of apartheid. During apartheid, cities were divided along racial lines, resulting in segregated residential areas and unequal access to resources and opportunities. This has had a lasting impact on the spatial layout and design of cities in the country. One of the primary challenges in South Africa's spatial planning is redressing these racially segregated and under-developed areas in our cities. 

Post-Apartheid Era:
Since our first democratic election in 1994, urban design in South Africa has aimed to promote inclusivity, integration, and social cohesion. The government has implemented various policies and initiatives to address the spatial inequalities inherited from the past and create more equitable cities.

Inclusive Design:
In recent years, there has been a focus on inclusive urban design that considers the needs of all residents, regardless of their background or socio-economic status. This approach involves creating mixed-use developments, providing affordable housing options, improving public transportation systems, and enhancing access to public spaces and amenities.

Sustainable Development:
Sustainability is a key consideration in urban design across South Africa. Cities are striving to reduce their environmental impact, promote renewable energy sources, encourage walkability and cycling, and preserve natural resources. Initiatives such as green building practices, water conservation measures, and waste management programs are becoming increasingly prevalent.

Informal Settlements:
One of the major challenges in urban design in South Africa is the presence of informal settlements, commonly known as townships. These areas often lack basic infrastructure and services, presenting a significant urban planning challenge. Efforts have been made to upgrade these settlements, provide better housing, and integrate them into the urban fabric.

Heritage Preservation:
South Africa's urban design also embraces the preservation of cultural and historical heritage. Many cities have heritage precincts and protected areas that celebrate the country's diverse architectural styles and landmarks. Efforts are made to integrate modern developments with existing heritage structures to create a sense of continuity and identity.

Urban Regeneration:
Urban regeneration projects have been implemented in various cities to revitalise neglected areas and improve the quality of life for residents. This involves transforming underutilised or derelict spaces into vibrant mixed-use districts, often combining residential, commercial, cultural, and recreational elements.

Participatory Planning:
Participatory planning processes involve engaging local communities, stakeholders, and residents in the decision-making process regarding urban design. This approach aims to ensure that the design of cities reflects the needs and aspirations of the people who live and work in them.

Overall, urban design in South Africa is driven by a desire to create more inclusive, sustainable, and liveable cities. The challenges of the past continue to influence the design process, but efforts are being made to address historical inequalities and create urban environments that foster social cohesion and economic opportunity for all.

Urban Design Projects

*Scroll to view all projects

bottom of page