Moeggesukkel informal settlement | self initiated re-blocking | South African SDI Alliance


Residents of Moeggesukkel platting their neighborhood. From sasdialliance.org.za.

This post from Olwethu Jack and Slum Dwellers International South African Alliance tells the story of the residents of Moeggesukkel, an informal community near Port Elizabeth, South Africa, are formalizing their neighborhood, mapping paths and property lines so that their local municipality can begin to upgrade the slum. It’s really interesting to look at an aerial of the neighborhood. It exists on the edge of what looks like an American suburb, but due to higher housing demand than the zoning allowed for, as well as lax police enforcement of trespass laws, people settled on the edges in what was probably planned as public space. Dirt footpaths crisscross the suburban roads following the true desire lines of the residents. The people who live here have saved up and are planning to contribute funding towards the implementation plans they are drafting in accord with the municipality. Residents are re-blocking the neighborhood to better serve them. This is the sort of organic development and upgrading over time that led to places we Americans pay to visit in Europe. I feel very strongly that in a century or so, the slums of today will be the tourist destinations of tomorrow.

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About Dave Munson
This blog is about architecture, cities, and myself.

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