Adequate lighting is intricately linked with criminal hotspots, especially in informal settlements. #ANOTHERLIGHTUP uses street art and crowd funding to provide street light systems in one of Cape Town’s more dangerous areas — Monwabisi Park in Khayelitsha.
Nelson Mandela Bay residents can now connect small scale renewable systems up to 100 kW to the national grid. This has been made possible through a partnership between the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA).
The Makoko floating prototype can be customised to cater to a large range of community needs such as a hub, health clinic, market and public space. In this instance, however, the structure will be used as a primary school.
The triangular frame, measuring 10 m high and with a 100 m2 base, ensures the structure has a low centre of gravity. It is designed to use rooftop solar panels, recycled organic waste and harvested rainwater. It is also built to support 100 adults in precarious weather conditions, withstand tidal changes, varying water levels and remain stable in heavy winds.
The buoyancy system comprises 16 wooden modules and 16 empty, recycled plastic barrels, creating the platform for the structure. Construction continues with a 220 m A-frame made of locally-sourced and eco-friendly bamboo, and wood from a local sawmill.
There are three levels to this prototype. An open play area doubles as a community space after hours on the first level. An enclosed space on the second level serves as classrooms and is designed to accommodate 60 to 100 pupils. The third level connects to the first and second via a staircase and is a semi-enclosed workshop space.
The aquatic Makoko community lives in housing units on stilts and has been using the prototype regularly.
South Africa was shortlisted and received an honourable mention for the National Integrated Coastal Management Act, 2008, while neighbouring Namibia received a joint silver award for their Marine Resources Act, 2000 in the Future Policy Award 2012.
The African Green Cities Index ranked 15 African cities in eight different categories. Conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Siemens, the objective was to “measure and compare the environmental performance of 15 major African cities and their commitment to reducing their environmental impact. The report also highlights innovative projects that could be of interest for other cities to replicate.”
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