Trading awareness – supporting informal trading within the community of Imizamo Yethu in Cape Town

  • Location: Cape Town / Milano
  • Date: Feb 2024

A collaboration with residents of Imizamo Yethu, the Milano Politecnico (Italy) and nonCrete

Download the full thesis “Trading Awareness” here

South Africa is the nation with the highest social and economic inequality in the world and faces daily challenges of integration and transformation. This study investigates the problem of informal settlements, a representation of the incommunicability between cultures in the country, and explores the environmental impact of invasive plants, analyzing the benefits that can be derived from their conscious use. The investigation focuses on the Cape Town area and in particular on the informal settlement of Imizamo Yethu  as a post-apartheid urban case study. First, the causes and characteristics of these problems are addressed with a large-scale analysis, corroborated during a trip to the capital through interviews and mapping in the Imizamo Yethu community.

The thesis suggests the upgrading of an existing informal trading area within the community of Imizamo Yethu in Cape Town.

Preference was given to the use of low-tech construction systems, which allow for the inclusion of community workers, and local materials with a low environmental impact, such as the South African neo-material ‘nonCrete’, a low-tech bio-concrete made from wood chips of invasive alien plants that in South Africa and beyond threaten the native ecosystem and worsen the water security of the entire country. The project therefore also includes a proposal to protect South Africa’s biodiversity and its natural heritage through the eradication of invasive plants and subsequent reforestation, aligning with the principles of environmental movements across the continent. To achieve maximum environmental benefit, the study also includes an analysis phase of the resulting climate-altering gas emissions.

Share this:

Facebook Twitter Pinterest