South Africa - Improving living conditions for communities through Architectural Design


Olwethu Jack, an architect working for the Community Organisation Resource Centre (CORC) helps to improve the living conditions for the settlements Mtshiniwami and Lungrug in South Africa by intelligent reblocking of shacks. The measures of the project create community space and small businesses.

South Africa Improving Living conditions case study


  • Improving the living conditions for habitants of South African settlements
  • Provision of socio- economic opportunities for the people in Mtshiniwami and Lungrug
  • Creating small businesses to sustain household livelihoods


In cape Town high urbanization resulted in the growth of big informal settlements. These are considered to be unsustainable e.g. due to location and lack of access.

The South African NGO CORC supports the young architect Olwethu Jack in his innovative project for informal settlements in South Africa. His approach includes an innovative design of community settlements to overcome socio-economic ills. In the two settlements Mtshiniwami and Lungrug the densely positioned shacks are reblocked and repositioned according to a community drafted spatial plan in order to gain valuable space. Through the reconfiguring of the shacks courtyards which create safer spaces for women and children through neighbourhood watches arose. Besides productive spaces and spaces for sanitation services of the municipality for the community are being generated. 

Expected results

Through the reblocking of the two settlements the living conditions for the habitants could be improved socially and economically.

This project was highlighted in the Young Architects in Africa competition (YAA) organized by Architecture-Studio in 2014. It was showcased in the CA'ASI during the 2014 Architecture Biennale of Venice.