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Forest Village Affordable Housing Development
Given the flat, featureless character of the site, the planning of Forest Village Housing Development established orientation, variety and identity, a diverse range of spaces and places with centres and edges made legible by a common typological narrative of place-making, brought home to ‘local neighbourhoods, my court, our street’. The design accommodates larger sized serviced sites, with a high component of medium density duplex typologies. These medium density typologies favour the construction of ‘urban space’, avenues and courts, balancing tight footprints with intimate public social spaces, small social squares, pocket parks and playgrounds, intimately scaled with street furniture and trees. Micro-economic activities operated from the house are provided through the provision of units that extend on street frontage along busier mobility routes. Each local neighbourhood is bisected by an ‘activity spine’ expressed as North South, tree lined, pedestrian friendly routes carrying a range of ‘soft’ social and recreational activities, public open spaces and facilities. These terminate at schools and cross mobility routes at transport interchanges with related commercial and trading opportunities. These routes are looked upon by residents whose homes line the ‘spine’ thereby creating safe and accessible social routes and spaces. The pedestrian route will be predominantly hard surfaced with geometric paving patterns that differ from the blacktop of the roads. Where the route widens into courts (or “pocket” recreational areas), this is emphasised through paving patterns and seating elements that accentuate the spaces for play, market, recreation. Trees are used here to further emphasise the play and recreation squares. Where the pedestrian routes intersect with higher order mobility routes, strategically placed trees will be used to create informal market corners / edges. These will be shaded spaces with seating facilities to accommodate street side traders and encourage entrepreneurial, and commercial activities. Patterned concrete brick pavers will be used to demarcate trading areas and through routes. Brightly painted tree planters will be used as seating. Fixed benches are proposed at the perimeter of the erven to demarcate the public space. Soft lawned public open spaces can be used as kick about and activity play spaces. These will also be overlooked by resident’s homes surrounding the open spaces, creating a safe space for recreation and for children to play. The seasonal wetland areas will be rehabilitated to function as such while also creating further recreational natural space for the residents. The detention ponds, designed to Engineers’ specifications, will contain vegetated sedimentation and filter beds and will double up as kick about areas. The embankments of the detention ponds may be planted and tree-lined to continue the ‘green’ aesthetic of the wetland and create an extended habitat space for birds nesting in that area. The extensive powerline servitude is treated as an open space system, overlooked by Duplex and Single storey Housing Units accessed off perimeter roads and access ways, with the proposed land use of intensive urban agriculture, a potentially viable Local Economic activity.