SPINE ROAD, KHAYELITSHA: Non-motorized project by Jakupa Architects

The Khayelitsha project therefore attempts to reshape an aggressive car orientated corridor that has been dominated by a sandy road reserve bounded by precast concrete backyard fencing. The plan imagined the activation of the road’s edges through the restructuring of the road reserve function over the longer term, making special places for existing informal trade and visually softening space through the use of trees and locally crafted mosaic street furniture.

Non-motorised Transport [NMT] is often misunderstood to be the provision of a cycle path driven by demand and destination calculations and is generally shaped by a-contextual concerns. Jakupa’s ideas of marrying spatial integration and people-consciousness with mobility infrastructure was tested on three separate appointments: Spine Road NMT in Khayelitsha; Bosduif Road NMT in Bridgetown; and Liesbeek Parkway NMT in Mowbray for which a set of design principles were developed to drive thinking beyond bicycle paths where NMT strives to find a happy medium between cyclists, pedestrians, the wheelchair bound, etc. particularly in places of conflicting use.


These projects play a role in shaping the quality of the consistently poor quality environment through which it passes and contribute to spatial restructuring and functional reorganization of its context. It does this through exploiting the opportunity to make special places where mobility systems intersect by providing infrastructure that also supports public space making. In addition, the legibility of the NMT system is built into the proposal through the clarity of the design intent and drawing on site specific clues.


The project embraced the chance to build on economic opportunity for micro enterprises through either the provision of employment through the construction contract or the provision of facilities for existing businesses alongside the route or at nodes of interchange. These tended to include the like of sales of car tyres, silencer installations, second hand furniture.