A Manifesto for Spatial Transformation

Tim serves on the main comittee of the East Cape Institute of Architects where chairs the “Habitiat” portfolio comittee. This commitee comprises Shaun Fogarty, Debbie Makan, Greame Eckley, John Blair and Tim Hewitt-Coleman. Together this comittee developed the wording of the manifesto below, which was tabled for adotion by the mebership of the East cape Institute of Architects on 10 November 2005.

Eastern Cape Institute of Architects

A Manifesto for Spatial Transformation

We the architects of the Western Region of the Eastern Cape, united by common training and similar skill, being diverse in background and persuasion, declare our commitment this region, this country and this continent.

It is out of this patriotism that we feel obliged and driven to declare our belief that the built form, the fabric of cities and towns, have a profound effect on the quality of life those who live and dwell in them.

To this end we, as a group, concur that the conceptualisation, formation and transformation of our cities and towns must take centre stage in public debate, discussion and action.

In the interest of promoting and leading that public discussion we all declare that we strive and act towards the creation of cities and towns that can be described as :-

Accessible and Compact

Safe and secure

Remembering the past

Sustainable and open to regeneration.

Providing adequate Housing for its residents

Promoting Vibrant Cultural Exchange
In Harmony with Nature

Distinctly South African
Poverty Free

We recognise that as Architects our influence and impact is limited, but we commit nonetheless to the following actions:

To create and promote an urban environments that are accessible to all, by increasing the overall density of habitation and promoting public transport and access for the disabled.

To reduce crime and anti social behaviour by designing and promoting spaces that promote ownership by the community and reduce opportunities for vandalism, violence and theft.

To promote the conservation of buildings and spaces which reflect the diverse history that we inherit.

To recognise and promote the right of every person to be housed in a building of sufficient quality.

To promote an architecture that has a positive impact on each person and on their daily lives, which enriches life and allows people to relax and have fun

To create an environment in which a truly South African architecture can emerge – one which, whilst acknowledging the region and the continent, is specific to this country.

To create, through good practice and good design, a built environment which helps to alleviate poverty and promotes education and skills transfer

We the undersigned commit ourselves, our energies and our business towards strategies and actions in our everyday work which, we know, will move our region toward these spatial objectives.

We furthermore undertake to be vocal as a group in leading public debate around spatial issues. We will point out fault and folly where it occurs, and praise vision and brilliance where it is found.

Port Elizabeth, 10 November 2005

Author: Tim Hewitt-Coleman

The World can be a better place.... But how? Taking the debate beyond the political, beyond the theoretical into the real economy, into the physical and spatial dimension where cities, landscapes and livelihoods take form.

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