This initiative is part of a broader Durban wide project entitled "Imagining a City Without Walls". The idea of this project is to promote new ideas and design practice that will positively impact safety and social cohesion. Interest and support for this project, and the Alliance Française initiative has been received from a diverse group of stakeholders. These stakeholders include architects, urban planners, criminologists, public police and the private security industry. In addition, a strong voice of support has been provided by the community that borders Sutton Park and the eThekwini Municipality.
The process will begin with an exciting workshop on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design which will be held on Tuesday, 3 February at 2PM. This interactive workshop will be directed by three technical specialists of the CSIR, led by Mr. Tinus Kruger. It will be held at DUT's Steve Biko Campus. As part of the CSIR’s Safety and Security Flagship initiative, the research professionals will contribute their expertize by incorporating Crime Prevention through Environmental Design into the initiative in Durban, further creating a platform to promote ongoing dialogue. The first phase of the process will round off with a Braai and Cinema in the Park event and a presentation on Friday, 13 February. This event will be open to all.
Through this project, 200 Architecture students of the Durban University of Technology will be the first group to learn about environmental design and how this is linked to crime prevention. The end product of this process will be a deconstructed and reconstructed space which will be completed by Franco-South African construction companies. The breaking down of the Alliance Française wall is not just a design or physical process, it is also an act of "unlearning".
"We are daring to do what people have been afraid to say" is an enduring thought toward the shifting mindset concerning public spaces and crime prevention in communities throughout South Africa. 50 students will be working on the “Alliance without Walls” project as a study case, from Monday, 2 February 2015 until Friday, 13 February 2015.