Compassionate community architecture acknowledges the more abrasive areas of city life, where run-down buildings, poor planning, grandiose development schemes and the litter of disposable consumerism hide or diminish the innate beauty and promise of our natural city environment.
It aims to work with people and nature to turn areas around and, in so doing, improve the lives of the people living and working in eThekwini, and encourage visitors to return. Architectural intervention can and must play a much more significant role than short-term beautification, functionality and response to need. Our architecture, urban development and professional services must respond to and understand the demands of all of our city's residents, provide greater insight into the needs of urban users, and promote new rules of social engagement.
As Architecture Department, our designs and developments must go far beyond the expected, and provide much broader and more insightful responses than their beneficiaries could ever envisage. Where we have maintenance or management responsibilities, we must take the extra steps to ensure that we provide long-term solutions, to give our customers peace of mind, safety, comfort and security.
We create spaces of hope, places of engagement, areas of relaxation, offices for working, places to live. Our interventions must renew the human spirit with beauty, form and function, and delight; and we must develop buildings, landscapes and precincts where people can be productive, comfortable, happy and safe.
Creativity, innovation, design, collaboration, communication, rethinking and having a new perspective on old problems can make all the difference. It can breathe new life into what may have been deemed an impossible situation. Bring hope. Purpose. Motivation. Architectural intervention can literally change lives. It requires being streetwise, knowledgeable, and sometimes taking risks. It involves putting ourselves out to achieve more than we think we can.
We support initiatives that make best use of opportunities, aim for sustainability and promote positive change. We pride ourselves on providing integrated solutions, and on not walking away from challenges. We commit to the principles of Batho Pele.
Community Architecture is about transforming our view of our municipal buildings, urbanism, housing and public spaces in cities, and committing to improve them, protect them and demand that they are responsibly cared for. We as Architecture Department must be willing to climb in and get our hands dirty, in all areas in which we can have a positive influence.
It is about architecture from the bottom up.