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UIA 2014 Durban: This time for Africa…

UIA 2014 Durban: This time for Africa…

Aug 4, 2014

Kathy Gibson reports from #UIA2014Durban

The sleeping giant of Africa is awakening, and the continent has a major role to play in the future of architectural and urban planning solutions. This is the word from Sindile Ngonyama, president of the SA Institute of Architects, speaking at the UIA 2014 World Congress of Architecture, being held this week in Durban.

“It also brings hope to the inhabitants and the nations of the continent of Africa and provides a new canvas for the world artists to paint new trends on it.”

Meanwhile UIA president Albert Dubler points out that, while Africa is the cradle of humankind, there is an opportunity build a new and modern society.

“Here will find a diversity of cultures that can enrich all cultures; that can give us the aptitude to become more than normal.”
South African has set the framework to build new cities and human settlements, says eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo, speaking about the National Development Plan that aims to channel government investments and development to infrastructure.

“Architects will make an important contribution to social development, providing houses and infrastructure related to issue of human dignity,” he says.

“Add to this the creation of a sustainable environment, representing ecology , working with nature and being socially responsible.”
Architecture should place people at the centre of design, he adds, reflecting the African spirit of Ubuntu.

KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mthulu agrees that the NDP should be at the centre of planning and development in South Africa.
“However, the successful implementation of the plan depends on the collaboration of public and private sector as well as other stakeholder.
“Architecture needs to be associated not only with buildings in the city centre, but should also have an influence on the slums and rural areas,” he says.

Public Works Minister Thula Nxesi echoes the sentiments that the built environment needs to improve the quality of life of people and communities. “The architecture profession is grappling with larger economic and social issues,” he says.

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