A public space in the post-apartheid city: the Golden Mile Beachfront of Durban (South Africa)

A public space in the post-apartheid city: the Golden Mile Beachfront of Durban (South Africa)

Submission ID:

67

Accessible, safe, and the longest on the African continent, the Beachfront Golden Mile is a unique place for the city of Durban. The imposing eight kilometer promenade, lined on the side of the coastal road by tall apartment blocks, hotels and a public hospital, is full of bars, restaurants and sports clubs integrated with green areas rich with flowers, vegetation and palm trees, areas of parking and spaces for traders. Populated at all hours of the day by people from all walks of life, ethnicity and lifestyle, the Beachfront allows for atypical interactions, free from social constructs and limitations that still characterize other public places in the country.
The access points to the long beach and the sea, realised through wooden walkways, are inserted within a wide landscape intervention, consisting of natural barriers of plants and sand dunes, created to counter the erosion of the beach.
The research presented highlights the historical stratification of the various interventions that have contributed to forming Durban’s Golden Mile. Started in the early 20th century, under the Union of South Africa (a self governing dominion of the British Empire) and then developed during the 1980s to 1990s by the apartheid regime, the large infrastructure took its current configuration for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and was finally extended to the mouth of the harbour just recently, in 2019. Through a diachronic reconstruction the work intends to show the current strategic role of this important public space for the city and underline possible future scenarios.

Corresponding Author

Silvia Bodei

University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Author #1:

Silvia Bodei

University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Author #2:

Roanne Oberholzer

University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Author #3:

Author #4:

Preferred Track

3. Terrain vague redevelopments

Second Preferred Track

9. The Syndrome of Grand Projects: contamination processes between North-South, West-East, Global-Local

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Contacts

DINÂMIA'CET-Iscte

Centre for Socioeconomic and Territorial Studies

Avenida das Forças Armadas | Edifício ISCTE

Sala D316 1649-026 Lisbon

grandprojects.2021@gmail.com

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