Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 27

UNE JOLIE PAGAILLE

NALEDI, BOTSWANA:
A COMPLICATED NOTION
The first example is drawn from my brief stint
working as a landscape architect in Gaborone,
Botswana, in the mid-1990s. Botswana was
one of the poorest nations in the world before
it was revealed, shortly after it achieved
independence from Britain in 1966, that it
was resting on billions of dollars in untapped
mineral resources, including diamonds. The
need to quickly establish new institutions and
the sudden massive influx of wealth made
Gaborone the fastest growing city in Africa
in the early 1970s. People flocked from their
villages to the new capital in search of jobs
and a better life for their families.
The original plan for Gaborone bore
the marks of its British origin - a rational
grid form surrounding a core campus of
government offices and a symmetrical
pedestrian mall, all serviced by an orderly
and efficient transportation and utility
network (Fig. 1). But the pace of controlled
development couldn't keep up with the flood
of settlers, and dense squatter communities
sprang up along the outskirts. One of the
largest was called Naledi, which stood in
glaring contrast to the established Garden
City order of Gaborone. It was a chaotic
jumble of shacks, rondavels and compounds
built largely from salvaged scrap materials

2

- corrugated metal, broken brick, car parts. To
our Western eyes it appeared squalid and sad,
and slightly dangerous.
When I arrived in Botswana, the firm I was
working for, CCI, was collaborating on a new
plan for Gaborone's central business district
with Canadian architect John van Nostrand.
John's firm had also been involved in Naledi
two decades earlier. In 1973, the government
had tried to resettle the squatters to a new
low-cost housing development across the
road called New Naledi but this failed to stem
growth in the illegal settlements. Most of
those that did move were dissatisfied with
the new neighbourhood and promptly moved
back to Old Naledi as it was now rechristened
- which was funny, since it had been around
for less than six years.

Admitting defeat, the government,
in partnership with CIDA, hired John to
implement a fairly radical new approach:
upgrade Old Naledi in situ and make it an
official part of the city, bringing it closer to
the local standards of servicing, land tenure
and safety. To get things started, he was
handed a proposed plan prepared by the
Department of Town and Regional Planning.
It showed a regular grid of roads and services
that divided the settlement into roughly equal
square plots, much like the rest of Gaborone.
The idea was to resettle people as necessary
to rationalize the form of the community.
THE '80s EPIPHANY
After six months of interviewing residents
and observing the dynamics of the
settlement, John reported an epiphany:
"What appeared at first to be a chaos of
jumbled streets and arbitrary building styles
was only chaotic when compared with the
orderly layout of the rest of Gaborone...The
residents of Old Naledi brought with them a
sophisticated and ordered idea of what living
together was all about, and this simply did not
take the form of a neat grid," he wrote, in an
article for the New Internationalist 202 (1989).

2 KIDS IN OLD NALEDI ENJOYING A SNACK IN THE
SHADE. 3 TYPICAL HOUSING IN OLD NALEDI BUILT
FROM SALVAGED MATERIALS. AN ELECTRONICS
REPAIR BUSINESS IS RUN OUT OF THE HOME, AS PART
OF GABORONE'S THRIVING INFORMAL ECONOMY.
3

PHOTO 2 + 3 CHAD + CAREY PHILLIPS, 2009

SUMMER | ÉTÉ 2017 27



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Summer 2017

TO BEGIN WITH | POUR COMMENCER
COLLABORATORS | COLLABORATEURS
PROLOGUE
ESSAY | ESSAI
Après le désordre vient le beau temps
A Fine Mess
Biophilic City
“I Am the Space Where I Am”
OPINION
Homo the Homogenizer? Do LAs Design Messy Terrain?
Waste-Less in Seattle: How Will This Look When It Gets Dirty?
Beaver the Disruptor Tolerating Disorder in the Heart of Vancouver
Messiness by Intention
CRITIQUE
@landtecanada Taking It With You
THE LAST WORD | LE MOT DE LA FIN
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - intro
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - cover1
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - cover2
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 3
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 4
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 5
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 6
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 7
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - TO BEGIN WITH | POUR COMMENCER
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 9
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - COLLABORATORS | COLLABORATEURS
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 11
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 12
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 13
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - PROLOGUE
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 15
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 16
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 17
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 18
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 19
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - ESSAY | ESSAI
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 21
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 22
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - Après le désordre vient le beau temps
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 24
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 25
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - A Fine Mess
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 27
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 28
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 29
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 30
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - Biophilic City
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 32
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 33
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - “I Am the Space Where I Am”
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 35
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 36
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 37
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 38
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 39
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - OPINION
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 41
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 42
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - Homo the Homogenizer? Do LAs Design Messy Terrain?
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 44
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 45
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 46
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - Waste-Less in Seattle: How Will This Look When It Gets Dirty?
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 48
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 49
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 50
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - Beaver the Disruptor Tolerating Disorder in the Heart of Vancouver
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 52
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 53
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - Messiness by Intention
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 55
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - CRITIQUE
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 57
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - @landtecanada Taking It With You
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 59
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 60
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 61
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 62
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 63
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 64
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 65
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 66
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 67
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 68
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 69
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 70
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 71
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 72
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 73
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - THE LAST WORD | LE MOT DE LA FIN
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - cover3
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - cover4
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