Paradise Valley, South Africa, Africa
Year1975latitude: -29° 50'
longitude: 30° 53'
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type of New Town: > scale of autonomy
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Paradise Valley will be (1975) a new town for fourteen thousand inhabitants located around a steep hill within the boundary of Pinetown, one of the fastest growing towns in S.A. The site is 137, 5 hectares in extent and is located 11 km from the city of Durban.
It has been conceived as a nuclear extension to the existing urban area, and thus allows for the creation of an independent urban organism with its own character and social structure within the boundary of the existing town without disturbing its present character.
An important aspect of Pinetown is that it retains a very rare mixture of rural and urban qualities - however these are being threatened by the growth pressure. This has resulted in higher-density projects to be developed to take some of this pressure away.
The new town is designed to comprise nine environmental areas consisting of eight village residential neighborhoods. Eighty-seven hectares would be left for open space to be developed around buildings or allocated to the park. The size of each village would be determined by the social and physical characteristics and varies according to the predetermined plan. The smallest house is to accommodate approximately 1500 people and the largest 3500 people. The living units will also be of varying size.
Each village will be formed by a space that will accommodate the needs of the varying life forms of the inhabitants. This concept seeks to merge the individual village-community with the overall structure of the settlement. The social and physical planning thus both accommodates the actual needs of the inhabitants and also creates possibilities for social interaction.
Each unit is planned to have its own focal point with nursing school, convenience shop, outdoor café and parking zones developed around the decks thus restructuring the ground levels and incorporating the pedestrian lines of movement and rest in the overall landscape plan.
Each village is divided into neighborhoods of about one hundred dwelling units. They cluster around a children's play ground and more forma leisure spaces established along the pedestrian routes. The overall building plan is thus composed of smaller subdivisions. All the dwellings are placed according to optimal wind and sun conditions and also have private gardens or terraces related directly to the living area.

source: S.A. Abramowitch 'Paradise Valley, Natal', in: (ed.) Michael Lazenby Housing People - Proceedings of the Housing 75 Conference, Johannesburg October 1975 arranged by the Institute of South African Architects

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