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A sustainable urban design approach to adaptive reuse projects in Cape Town
This research is about the spaces between places in urban settings, also referred to as "Interiorscapes", a term coined by Paul Cooper (2003). These spaces are often overlooked by developers and urban planners in their vision of the bigger scheme yet they function as extensions of the habitable spaces in buildings and contribute to the overall structure and understanding of a place. If disregarded these spaces can potentially become neglected and derelict inadvertently sanctioning opportunities for crime. In Cape Town, the proposed developments at the Two Rivers Urban Park in partnership with the Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town, offer an opportunity to explore the inclusion of Interiorscapes in adaptive reuse projects aimed at creating sustainable commercial urban spaces in Cape Town. This interpretive qualitative research was conducted by exploring proposals made for two of the districts within the Two Rivers Urban Park area; (1) Oude Molen Ecovillage, currently a mixed-use sustainable neighborhood, and (2) the River Club where planning is currently underway to develop a commercialised recreational hub and tourist attraction. These sites were identified as study areas as they offer the potential for the implementation of Interiorscapes in adaptive reuse projects. Using a Grounded Theory approach, data was collected by interviewing the stakeholders, reviewing the proposals drawn up for these developments and through observations made when visiting the sites. Using the principles of New Urbanism, data has been analysed and the findings are presented as a narrative. The findings of this research indicate that ultimately the inclusion of Interiorscapes and all they represent is tied up in politics and economic processes monopolised by developers. The construct of Interiorscapes becomes a metaphor for the wellconsidered, well planned, user centered, ‘bottom-up’ design solutions which in the current context may present as a challenging problem which has no apparent solution. Recommendations are made for sustainable design alternatives to the current building and planning practices in Cape Town for adaptive reuse projects through the introduction of Interiorscapes.