Landscapes in transition: a holistic approach to re-mediating social, economic and environmental ecologies disfigured by mining

Show simple item record Liechti, Matthew Hans 2017-08-01T11:00:55Z 2017-08-01T11:00:55Z 2017
dc.identifier.citation Liechti, Matthew Hans (2017) Landscapes in transition: a holistic approach to re-mediating social, economic and environmental ecologies disfigured by mining, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <>
dc.description Thesis is submitted in partial fulfilment for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional) to the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2017
dc.description.abstract The memories associated with mining are vastly contrasting; ranging from nostalgic recollections of the fortune on which Johannesburg was built to the torturous conditions the miners had to endure both above and below the surface. The essay by the author entitled “Memory retention and cessation in the historical and present context of South Africa and abroad” aims to engage with critically, and explore, the field of memory in relation to mining and broader issues. It is of great importance when establishing a heritage project that the people who engage with it must be able to do so without causing distress or emotional anguish. Can a contextually relevant space be created for the housing and display of such memories? This research report views remediation through a holistic lens that is an approach to the project in its entirety. Remediation is viewed as an approach to solving the fractured nature of Benoni, separated by mining and Apartheid planning, creating ‘buffer zones’ between previously racially orientated areas. The site is a previous ‘buffer zone’ and has not changed its function since it was constructed in 1888. The toxic, disused land offers an opportunity to reclaim what industry has taken away from ‘nature’. Can this ‘buffer zone’ be activated to connect the segregated suburbs of Benoni further? Remediation will also be used as a vehicle for the regeneration of the site, with the aim to return it to a similar ecological state as it was before the mining industry began to alter it. The site has been scarred by the mining industry for over 128 years, polluting both the surface and the sub-surface environment. Can the effects of the temporary environmental degradation be neutralised? The reprocessing of the mine dump has initiated the remediation process, removing around 40 million tonnes of waste (“Transvaal Has Largest Dam In the World” 1950, Vol 56, No. 15 731) from the site, re-mining it, and sending the waste to selected dump sites across the Rand. The Remediation of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) will reduce the associated noxious effects on the local biosphere, induce a ripple effect further downstream the Blekboskpruit and further on towards the Vaal Dam, where we obtain our drinking water. This example of passive AMD remediation aims to stand as a watershed project that may be adopted and adapted at other sites with similar needs. Is the use of a low-tech, passive wetland system appropriate for AMD remediation and the site? This project aims to be a cultural precinct to objectively display the history of mining in Johannesburg. It does so while being a functioning centre for AMD remediation, in pursuit of solutions for the damage that our mining legacy has had on the landscape and the environment. The Urban Mining facility seeks to create a flagship electronic waste (e-waste) recycling centre that will not only have a positive impact on the local environment but reduce the amount of e-waste being transported illegally to developing countries around the world. Keywords: Acid Mine Drainage, Urban Mining, Remediation, Mining Museum, Benoni en_ZA
dc.format.extent Online resource (169 pages)
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.subject.lcsh City planning--South Africa
dc.subject.lcsh Urban renewal--South Africa
dc.subject.lcsh Landscape architecture
dc.subject.lcsh Hazardous waste site remediation--South Africa
dc.title Landscapes in transition: a holistic approach to re-mediating social, economic and environmental ecologies disfigured by mining en_ZA
dc.type Thesis en_ZA
dc.description.librarian GR2017 en_ZA

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