Existing mainstream paradigms of planning, engineering, and architecture can exacerbate environmental and social degradation, leading towards increasingly unsustainable cities.
Current practices with regards to water and energy utilisation, waste disposal, environmental management, food security, and spatial democracy, have left our planet in a precarious position and it is not improving.
Against this backdrop, locally established and owned asset management, property development, and retail leasing company, Fundamentum, is committed to changing the tide on development by leading an urban sustainability agenda in their new project at Shongweni, within the marginalised outer-west region of the eThekwini Metropolitan area.
“The start of construction on Westown, the first retail and mixed-use component within Shongweni, is imminent” says Fundamentum CEO, Carlos Correia.
“Tender calls have gone out for the first key infrastructural components. This catalytic project has been a long time in the making and the development team is excited to finally get it underway”.
Working together with key stakeholders, eThekwini Municipality and Tongaat Hulett Property, Fundamentum will oversee the development of a new high street retail and mixed-use development.
The mixed-use urban node precinct will offer a wide range of residential options, as well as commercial and business park activities and the project has the full support of the City as well as at provincial and national levels, having been identified as a Presidential Project.
“In line with our urban sustainability ethos, we believe Westown with an urban core at its heart, will be a prime example of an inclusive, high energy, safe and secure retail and mixed-use urban development,” continues Correia. “It will add to and enhance the existing natural character and environment of Shongweni, with a specific focus on building on and expanding the current active recreational activities of equestrian shows and horse-riding, mountain biking and trail running. This ‘new-town-in-town’ will create a new economic base for this sub-region and much of this economic base will be grounded in urban sustainability.”
This initial project, will push the limits of planning for a larger Shongweni Urban Development initiative and in the development of Westown, move urban sustainability beyond existing multi-disciplinary paradigms of planning, engineering, architecture and urbanisation, to an approach of inter-disciplinary integration that facilitates increasing levels of sustainability and innovation, providing for a permanent residential population that spans a broad socio-economic profile, representative of the wider South African context.