Category: South Africa

The improvable house as a self-baked fruitcake: Part 2, the ingredients

19 March, 2013 (09:28) | building technology, Essential posts, home improvement, Housing, Innovations, Philanthropy, self-building, Slums, South Africa, Technology |

[Continued from yesterday's Part 1.]   By:David A. Smith   Yesterday’s post, using as a convenient seed an upbeat article from CNN (January 8, 2013), introduced the concept of a core house, plus technological gadgets, as an improvable ‘fruitcake house’.  Construction of a basic core house, with a malleable or modifiable material for walls and […]

The improvable house as a self-baked fruitcake: Part 1, the recipe

18 March, 2013 (15:52) | building technology, Essential posts, home improvement, Housing, Innovations, Philanthropy, self-building, Slums, South Africa, Technology |

By:David A. Smith   While for some of us a house is a completed product, something we buy one day and use the next (after enduring the travails of moving), but that’s an illusion, as even our completed house begins changing the day we move in – and for most of the world, a home […]

Reverse graffiti: dust thou art

7 April, 2010 (10:29) | Cities, Graffiti, Innovations, Law, Paul Curtis, South Africa, United Kingdom |

By: David A. Smith   Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. – Genesis 3:19   Is it vandalism to clean selectively?    Filthy, isn’t it?  Or is it?   Not according to Inhabitat, where I found this little parable of our internally combustible cities:   Graffiti is one of the most controversial […]

Bringing ‘those people’ to *our* neighborhood

12 March, 2010 (11:02) | Affordability, Cities, Commuting, Housing, Johannesburg, Public transportation, South Africa, Speculation |

By: David A. Smith   While housing is immovable, jobs and people move, and where people live in one house and work in another, they must commute between the two, mustn’t they?    RDP houses, Soweto … and jobs are ninety minutes away   As reported in The New York Times, this is often more […]

Pictures at an enumeration

14 December, 2009 (14:07) | AHI activities, Cities, Durban, Finance, SDI, Slums, South Africa, Theory |

By: David A. Smith   Singing about a better life: the Durban enumeration   “Have you ever been to an enumeration?” asked my hostess at the Gates Foundation convening.  She had brought together all the grantees under the Urban Poverty Limited Learning Initiative, including ourselves, for two days of brain-cudgeling on what we had individually […]