Posted on March 13, 2018
The University of Pretoria (UP) was named a Gold winner in the prestigious 2018 Gauteng Premier’s Service Excellence Awards in the sub-category 'Building Safe Communities' for its urban renewal and social transformation project around the Hatfield Campus. The award was handed over at the end of February.
This award recognises projects that strive to mobilise against drugs, eradicate violence against women and children and build safe communities.
The project's objective was to develop a precinct plan, implementation strategy and action plan for a newly-defined Hatfield Campus Village and City Improvement District (CID).
'We are honoured to receive this award and by the recognition of the role a project like this can play in the upliftment of communities,' says Dr Johnny Coetzee, project leader and senior lecturer at UP’s Department of Town and Regional Planning. 'If we want to turn around and regenerate cities and communities and build quality, sustainable, and resilient places and spaces, we need to work together across disciplines and organisations to ensure we are supporting strong and vibrant communities.'
The Hatfield area started facing social decay in recent years, leading to the establishment of the Hatfield CID to deal with cleaning and safety in the area.
The University of Pretoria’s anchor institution strategy is to lead urban renewal and social transformation projects around its Hatfield Campus. Accordingly, the University and the CID appointed Enterprises University of Pretoria in 2016 to research, analyse and assess the current situation in Hatfield, as well as the organisational focus of the CID and its operations. Enterprises University of Pretoria is the University’s external research and continuing education entity.
'We certainly believe that this project and approach could be replicated in many other parts of the city and Gauteng – ultimately contributing to the vision of the Gauteng Premier,' Coetzee concludes.
The Spatial and Institutional Development and Management Framework for the Hatfield Campus Village project brought together project teams from town planning, architecture and sociology. UP students living in Hatfield were involved in the project and had the opportunity to conduct research and assessments and provide suggestions. Specialist consultants and senior officials from the City of Tshwane participated in the project.
The project is currently being implemented and significant progress has been made. It has also drawn funding support from the Kresge Foundation in the United States as well as from the US State Department through the US Embassy in Pretoria. The project was presented to an international audience at the African Studies Association conference in Chicago in the USA in November 2017, where it was well received.
Positive results are already being recorded, with new interest in the area from businesses and other key stakeholders who are making financial or other contributions to the CID.
The way in which this project has combined various aspects of planning, management and development is regarded as a major breakthrough. Unique features include the holistic and integrated nature of the project, the extensive consultation and negotiation and the strong strategic approach, which is linked to implementation and performance.
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