The 495 CITY

The 495 CITY

A concept for the redevelopment of Johannesburg’s first ring suburbs.

We have been working on a housing approach for small scale developers, landlords and collectives interested in investing in the 100+ year old neighbourhoods of Johannesburg.

These predominantly single story neighbourhoods, located close to the city center and existing amenities are experiencing a high demand for affordable housing. By developing a set of well-designed, adaptable housing prototypes that fit the approximately 30 000 similarly-sized stands which make up these neighbourhoods, we aim to offer a range of accommodation and ownership models. Flexible layouts can house retail, leisure, culture, small-scale manufacturing and education, creating opportunities for employment and upward mobility. Programmed into the design of the prototypes, is a positive relationship between the buildings and the street helping to make neighbourhoods safer, more walkable and active. This is vital, not only in safe-guarding and maximising the return on investment, but also to create accessible, humane neighbourhoods in one of the world’s most unequal societies.

We will be posting more about the 495 City in the coming weeks and are also preparing the next issue of blom, our quarterly newsletter, due in March / April.  Titled “A Big House for All”, the newsletter will frame the 495 City as a form of popular urbanism using examples from Brazil and Johannesburg.

Download our first issue of blom (on Student Housing) below:

written by: Thorsten Deckler