Improving Outdoor Thermal Comfort by Creating Public Spaces in Vehicular Dominated Streets in Bulawayo

An understanding of architectural structure, space optimization, comfort, mechanics and materials science made me realize that architecture is not only about aesthetics but also functionality, practicality, constructability, and the sustainable utilisation of spaces by users. Sustainability is conceived from the design phase to be able to achieve comfortable spaces that can be put to optimum use. This means I have to contribute to a sound, friendly, comfortable and efficient built environment by providing the best possible places for people to be in. As a result, I had a realization that I need to build my expertise of climate-responsive design and learn new technologies through the Academy. What drives me is the desire to constantly improve and learn something new to have a better and comfortable built environment.

Bulawayo, the second largest city in Zimbabwe, is rich in cultural history. The wide streets – 27-32 metres wide – were designed in a peculiar way and for the simple reason to allow a span of oxen pulling carts to turn without difficulty. The city is now urbanising very quickly and struggling to keep pace. Until now the streets have been primarily used for vehicular movement and the situation is deteriorating as vehicular traffic is increasing aggressively including the haphazard vending in the streets. This results in a poor and uncomfortable urban environment with poor air quality and high noise levels. This research project will be a concept development to improve outdoor thermal comfort by creating public spaces for people in the street, at the same time, reducing the adverse vehicular traffic impact in the city.

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Innocent Mhandu – Zimbabwe

Innocent Mhandu – Zimbabwe

Innocent is a Zimbabwean architect with a Master of Architecture degree from the National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo (NUST) Zimbabwe. He has worked with different architectural companies in Harare, and has also been teaching and researching in the Department of Architecture at The National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo in Zimbabwe.