Research Infrastructure 2018

Children growing up in poor versus affluent neighborhoods are more likely to spend time in prison, develop health problems and die at an early age. The question of how neighborhood conditions influence our behavior and health has attracted the attention of public health officials and scholars for generations. Online tools are now providing new opportunities to measure neighborhood features and may provide a cost effective way to advance our understanding of neighborhood effects on child health.

The community and its contest.
Alexandra, informally abbreviated to Alex, is a township in the Gauteng province of South Africa. It forms part of the city of Johannesburg and is located near the upper-class suburb of Sandton (Southern Africa’s richest mile). In contrast to Sandton, Alexandra is one of the poorest urban areas in the country. In addition to its original, reasonably well-built houses, it also has a large number (estimated at more than 20,000) of informal dwellings or "shacks". Alexandra was established in 1912, and has a rich political history within South Africa.

Aims and focus of the project.
With so many advances in technology new tools of assessment have become available for free to influence our research and design process. The aim of the project is to use a virtual systematic social observation (SSO) study to assess / test whether Google Street View could be used to reliably capture a neighbourhood’s conditions. From these mappings / assessments we will strategize and brainstorm some design solutions.

HOW WE HELPED

Our systematic social observation (SSO) through Google Street View and Survey data showed the following.

 

PORTABLE TOILETS

  • Not enough public toilets
  • Reoval of waste is inadiquite
  • Everything leaks into the River

 

WASTE AND STONES

  • Waste is dominating on every road
  • Waste management is not maintained

 

DUSTBINS

  • Waste management is a big problem
  • No recycling is visible
  • Dustbins – 70% of streets have trash cans that are over full and no recycling is available

WHAT WE DID

Our assessments helped us strategize and brainstorm some design solutions.
As Drainage is blocked due to waste and poor management thereof was an issue identified, design proposed the OPPORTUNITY for: Implement better waste management strategies

As Overpopulation leads to strain on grids as well as illegal connections was an issue identified, design proposed the OPPORTUNITY for: Insertion of waste can be to power the grids as well as implementing solar panels

As OVERPOPULATION AND POOR ROAD CONDITIONS SO THERE IS NO ACCESS FOR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS was an issue identified, design proposed the OPPORTUNITY for: Add a housing plan to support the local community, clean up roads and add money to fixing the infrastructure

As LACK OF FORMAL TAXI STOPS was an issue identified, design proposed the OPPORTUNITY for: Create shaded stops with seating in safe and secure areas

As LACK OF SANITATION STRATEGIES SUCH AS PORTABLE TOILETS, REFUGE COLLECTIONS IS POOR was an issue identified, design proposed the OPPORTUNITY for: adding public toilets and better waste removal

As LACK OF CELL PHONE COVERAGE, NO ACCESS TO BUY DATA, LACK OF PUBLIC ACCESS was an issue identified, design proposed the OPPORTUNITY for: Increase access points in pipes and have designated water supply around the area

As TOTAL OF 3 TAPS AVAILABLE FOR WATER SUPPLY was an issue identified, design proposed the OPPORTUNITY for: Increase access points in pipes and have designated water supply around the area