Earthworks Landscape Architects was appointed by the Cape Town Partnership in 2011-2012 to identify ways in which the external landscape of the Urban Fringe (East City Precinct) can be designed to reflect the creative energy envisioned for the area. The landscape development report produced investigated the natural processes, particularly the hydrology, geology and vegetation present in the precinct and the cultural landscape aspects such as usage, scale, and connectivity. The outcomes centred upon transforming this urban area into a place that reflects the ecological and cultural processes present in the area. Making for a more humane, complex and variable inner city environment.
The Fringe today is a typical product of a planning paradigm where nature was seen as an obstacle to human development. The result is a cold hard engineered landscape with almost no signs of life, even the people using the space try not to linger too long in the concrete and asphalt world.
The urban landscape needs to reflect and compliment the overall vision of the Fringe in order to create new and original spaces within which this hub of innovation can thrive. With re-introducing people and businesses (all with a common interest of innovation) into the area the hope is that from this a “culture of cafes, coffee shops, bars and networking venues will develop encouraging economic growth in The Fringe, becoming an area where communication and idea generation will become common place” (Zayd Minty, Property Magazine, April 2011). There is potential for the urban landscape to become an extension of the innovation, taking place inside, spilling out into the surrounding urban context.