Mixed Use Mandate

  • There is a need to bolster SMEs growth in market towns.
  • There is a need for linkages for value addition industries and attraction of development partners.
  • More hotels need to be constructed to increase the capacity and quality especially during peak seasons. . . .this can be done through public- private partnerships

‘Mixed-use’ is often euphemistically misrepresented as ‘segregated’ use:

traditionally integrated situations such as ‘living’ and ‘working’ are in fact, separated for commercial expediency and social control. Historically, this was implemented to promote private car ownership, by the urban zoning legislation of the mid-twentieth century, encouraging people to travel between residential suburb to city centre workplace on a daily basis, by car.

The result almost one hundred years later, is all too clear as our cities are literally choking to death ! The point of departure of any development project now, must address the legislative car-parking requirements in order to meet its potential. Car-free developments and the ‘live-work’ use category, are sensible innovations that make use of the internet to reduce traffic congestion, and the daily commute. However, the car industry is far too strong to prune its avaricious growth, while anondyne advertising ensures the populace remain hooked on the ‘power’, ‘freedom’ and ‘status’ that promises.

Our urban design direction is to reinforce the primacy of the street as the most effective form that unambiguously establishes a hierarchical territorial dialogue between the public and private realms. Behind a front ‘face’ to the street, a transition from the public domain of town life, to the graded privacy of dwelling, studying, working and other more, or less mundane situations, is narrated.

Both of the two distinct and traditional urban block types – the courtyard arrangement (typical of the Middle East, Southern Europe and the Far East) and the town-house configuration (more a native of Northern Europe) do this: they formalise and stabilise public spatial ‘relations’ and participatory conditions.

The trend that encloses a plot by presenting a public address to the street of razor-wire encrusted walls is regressive and unethical: it rejects the value of a public realm shared by all, in favour of private territories representing exclusion, and denying participation. As one professor of Architecture remarked, “if the building cannot fit comfortably in a street, then it is probably not Architecture !” (Dalibor Vesely (deceased), University of Cambridge)

This South-facing plot measures 45m East-West by 60m North-South, located in a sub-county HQ town. The accompanying table details the following data summary:

  • PLOT AREA = 2780 m2
  • GROSS DEVELOPMENT AREA ex. Carpark = 7000 m2
  • GROSS DEVELOPMENT AREA inc. Carpark = 9300 m2
  • PLOT RATIO ex. Carpark = 2.5 PLOT RATIO inc. Carpark = 3.4

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