Alumna researches housing and land

MArch(Prof) alumna Amy Leibbrandt (2017) will be attending the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies, Erasmus University in Rotterdam this November. She has been accepted to participate in the Developing Social Housing Projects course, presenting an affordable housing project by Local Studio in New Doornfontein, Johannesburg. 




IHS is an international centre of excellence of the School of Economics (9th in Europe according to the QS rankings) and the School of Social and Behavioural Sciences of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands, offering a range of post-graduate programmes. The DSHP course is coordinated by Alonso Ayala along with David Schelkshorn and Sija van Mourik. The course examines elements of design, financial instruments, management structures, social structures and institutional set-up in the development of a social housing projects. Previous students include architects, planners, developers, bankers, engineers, social worker and policy makers.

Amy presenting the complexities of land in South Africa at the Open Building for Resilient Cities conference. 6-8 December 2018 Los Angeles.


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In December 2018, Amy had the opportunity to present her 2017 Master’s in Architecture (Professional)  research, summarized as a paper, co-authored with Prof Arthur Barker, at the Open Building for Resilient Cities conference held at the A+D Museum in Downtown Los Angeles. Her dissertation titled Architecture without Land (UP 2017) investigated land rental as a development strategy in well-located, low-income neighbourhoods such as Westbury, Johannesburg. It postulated the role of architecture without the promise of ownership of land, exploring change and stability, temporality and permanence in architecture.


UIA CA+HR Just City Jozi Conference






This year, in August, Amy and fellow 2017 alumnus Marcus van der Hoven (2017) concluded the paper presentation sessions at the Union of International Architects Community Architecture and Human Rights, UIA CA HR Just City Jozi Conference held at the University of Johannesburg. The conference questioned how architecture can influence policy to guide sustainable urbanization and human dignity. Their proposal titled Our Champions are Restrained explored the idea of redeveloping the suburban city block, through  a symbiotic relationship between community land trust and multiple tenure approaches, to encourage the household developer. The suburban city block development approach critiques the lack of diversity of housing options and lack of economic opportunities for tenants/residents in the current affordable housing market. Leibrandt and Van der Hoven investigated various city blocks in Johannesburg and based their approach on the typical stand size of 495 sqm in Johannesburg, which can be found in Brixton. 


Community land trust diagram

Existing city block compared to proposed city block development

Proposed city block development ownership structure 



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Published by Reitumetse Ranthako

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