The foundations of a community are reflected in communiTgrow’s Six Pillars. Developed simultaneously, they are fully integrated and mutually-beneficial to each other. The Pillars co-operate to provide solutions which address multiple challenges in the various sectors of a community, allowing people and the environment to benefit.
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The economic pillar is best understood as developing a detailed business plan for a communiTgrow city. Consequently, each city developed by communiTgrow will have its own unique business plan. Initially, the economic pillar of communiTgrow is less about establishing a robust economy than it is about a 20 plus year business plan for the new development initiative. The goal is to ensure that sustainable microindustries are created on the back of supplying the established demand for homes. The attendant opportunity is the subsequent clustering around the construction industry and the magnets / attractors which create a multiplier effect that in turn establishes a full array of sustainable economic activities over the life of the building project. These are then converted into permanent jobs for the citizens of the fledgling city. The sole objective of the economic pillar in the evolving new city is to establish a meso-economy built on the impetus of the construction of housing, the micro-economic business clustering within the a macroeconomic regional context.
It is estimated that by 2050, a rapid increase in urbanisation and population growth will result in more than 1.23 billion African city dwellers. This means that more people will be living in cities than the combined populations for urban and rural classifications of the Western Hemisphere. What is the scale of new urbanisation in relation to the existing? This will result in an urgent need for 800 new cities on the African continent. Most of these new cities will be small to intermediate sized cities and towns. This requires a substantial realignment of the way urban, service and housing development is implemented. What communiTgrow proposes is a regenerative approach that allows for the constant growth and adaptation of the systems and environments that are necessary to support city development and its inherent sustainability.
Education is a cornerstone of community development, especially as it pertains to early childhood development. Without appropriate opportunities for quality education, poverty traps are reproduced and become entrenched in communities and societies over generations. Breaking this cycle, however, need not take more than a few generations if education is employed as an instrumental and foundational.
There is a growing understanding of the role that “place” plays in influencing individuals’ and communities’ levels of exposure to health risks, as well as their opportunities for being healthy. The problems of unemployment and crime are acute and completely enmeshed with health, housing and education. There are good reasons why an area-based approach to tackling health inequalities is an effective regenerating tool.
communiTgrow offers the opportunity to constitute project based business and governance for infrastructure and service delivery deployment, but more importantly; for city and municipal governance as well. It integrates across sectors (land and housing management, business, services, etc.) and across different scales (ranging from the neighbourhood, to walkable community, urban village to urban quarter scales).
Regenerative design and development is a body of work that addresses the opportunity to optimise the productive potential of well managed urban ecologies. This can be achieved through closing the loops of materials and resources that flow through a city and cascading them through many more designed cycles of beneficial use, that in turn structure urban ecologies and space making.