Small ideas for big impacts: Multifunctionality in the rural village of Verkykerskop
Nijkamp affirms the Utopians’ claim of an open and flexible future, where development could imply surprising steps towards something better. Castells questions admonishingly whether planning approaches are changeable in a world that has already changed. Following Davidoff’s indications of making urban life beautiful, exciting and creative, planners encounter “surprising steps” within the planning approaches of compact cities, new urbanism, new ruralism, smart growth, green urbanism, and so on. In responding to Castells’ “multidimensional change in the spatial dimension”, the imagination of planners is intercepted, angling them towards a multifunctional planning advent. This article reasons that a combination of the new urbanism, green urbanism and new ruralism may be a beneficial response to multifunctionality, especially as megatrends emphasise the need to abandon the pursuit of a predictable single future or outcome. It questions whether the reciprocal use of these planning approaches may induce multifunctional rural landscapes. The uniqueness of the inherently rural South African landscape also necessitates a rural emphasis in this article, questioning whether the reciprocal use of the three planning approaches in the recently planned rural village of Verkykerskop, acclaimed by the Charter for New Urbanism in 2012, generated multifunctional rural land use.
Keywords: Green urbanism, multifunctionality, new ruralism, new urbanism, rural landscapes, urban design