A small town regeneration strategy for Hamburg
The development vision that was compiled for Hamburg based on various stakeholder engagements, is for the town to become
"A vibrant, artistic and natural coastal town, where people can enjoy a low-key, small-scale, ecological, and self-sufficient community – sufficient in jobs, food and quality of life".
The vision is based on five core regenerative elements:
- The quality of urban space & social infrastructure – which points to the need to develop Hamburg as a place which is attractive, spatially functional and provides the necessary social infrastructure for its population.
- Accessibility & infrastructure – highlighting the need to enhance the accessibility to sites (residential, business, social services, municipal administration, recreation, etc.), especially for pedestrians. This requires a focus on infrastructure upgrading and densification/consolidation of services and functions.
- The protection of natural resources – which are a significant resource to the Hamburg lifestyle and economy, as well as its future positioning as an ecologically sustainable coastal town;
- Job creation which focuses on tourism, the arts and agriculture; and
- Self-sufficiency, which promotes the possibility of Hamburg becoming self-sufficient in terms of local jobs, food production and overall quality of life.
Town centre upgrade
To complement the investments made into the anchor project, Emthonjeni Arts, formerly known as the Hamburg Artist Retreat, funding has been secured by National Treasury’s Neighbourhood Development Partnership Grant to upgrade the centre of Hamburg Town. The major objective of the town centre upgrade is to create a vibrant social and economically functional “heart” of Hamburg, where the residents can enjoy a substantially improved access to civic, commercial, recreational and social services. The second reason for developing the town centre is to bring new functions into Hamburg that will strengthen the local arts and tourism sector, its employment potential for the community and attract private investment into town. This will include a range of facilities aimed to make Hamburg a more attractive place to live and visit. The facilities to be provided will include:
- A market square with an amphitheatre to provide attractive public space
- a music academy to groom local children into international performers
- an environmental and skills centre, including a bicycle hire and repair shop
- a crèche for the children of local workers
- Craft workshops (embroidery, printmaking and ceramics) and a gallery for the Keiskamma Trust
- the repair of the water supply of the community garden to increase food security
- a traffic circle with an artistic feature at the entrance of town to calm down traffic and provide a gateway into Hamburg
- the development of a park to provide an attractive recreational space for residents and visitors
A participatory design phase has been undertaken to reach agreements on the designs for the new buildings in the town centre. Construction is planned to start in the first quarter of 2013.
Arts & Crafts Wordshop
Environment & Skills Centre