onhele yeundaneko, matatura mountain

How can we reimagine a waste dump at the centre of an impoverished community, and can an adaptive reuse initiative of a landfill account for lack of productive open public space? We ask the question what are the associated urban economic opportunities for landfill sites, and with these principles in mind we have created the concept of “Matatura Mountain”.

When thinking about a reuse of this waste dump, we are aware of the limited resources of the municipality, as well as the daily challenges faced by the community. Because of this we need ask ourselves what sustainable practices are available to us? What should an integrated assessment approach look like? How do we clean an old dumpsite at the centre of the community that remains open and unsafe? What redevelopment opportunities need to be considered? Can urban agriculture account for adaptive re-use of a landfill site?

Is it possible to rethink how we manage our waste and services, instead of it being a wasted opportunity?

The rate of the formal expansion of infrastructure does not match the economic migration into Swakopmund, putting strain unto local municipal services.


Can we collect, transfer, store, treat or recycle waste? How do we manage the impacts of social risks by creating economically sustainable communities, that in place of wasting energy we can we create energy that empowers communities? How do we engage the community in the life of an adaptive re-use initiative? In creating social capital, can we empower woman and children who are often the most vulnerable members of society.  In order to enable everybody, the Matatura Mountain initiative would need to apply new remediation techniques for efficient clean-up of the disused landfill site.

What physical, biological, social and economic factors were considered by the city council of Swakopmund as part of landfill closure planning? A strong partnership with the council of Swakopmund would strengthen AEDI’s ability to structure the appropriate funding mechanisms towards an adaptive re-use initiative that becomes a socio-economic generator for the community, a new infrastructural development tool to create meaningful relationships between communities and their environment that creates sustainable value for all participating stakeholders.

For the community to benefit from the old dump site, its re-use should broaden its appeal and employ a holistic and integrated approach to its programming. Our strategic objectives are to improve the quality of life of the local community and grow a sustainable economy. Can we turn a piece of ground into a green open space system? Yes, we see a mountain of opportunity. Not dissimilar to the Ariel Sharon park stands on an old waste dump located southeast of Tel Aviv that received waste as a landfill in 1952 – 1999 reaching a size of 450,000m² and  60m in height. The idea of a reuse of a waste dump is not new, however a critical factor is the form of partnership to realise these opportunities.What sustainable development strategies can be employed for the repositioning and rebranding of the city of Swakopmund landfill as an urban generator.

Can Swakopmund create a new national legacy project that is a flagship model for Africa? How can we transform an old waste dump of Swakopmund into a productive open space system that serves the community? Central to this idea is that we can begin to integrate stakeholders by injecting a sustainable economic model at the heart of the community. At the centre of the proposal, are we able to empower not only woman; but children and the families they often support and what sustainable development strategies are available to us?  We believe the grounds can be transformed into a fully sustainable, living park where selected areas of the site can be reclaimed as parkland over time, with restaurants, cultural facilities, sports amenities and other recreational uses that will activate the site and eventually develop into a mature biomatrix within the next 20 years. The initiative will need to be phased. An evaluation procedure will need to go from a conceptual assessment, through a pre-feasibility to a final feasibility study and the existing landfill needs to be secured, without public access or amenity.  Within a few years, areas of the site can be reclaimed as useful public landscapes, and soon thereafter, further park entries that can connect allow improved access around the park. AEDI would need security of the site through a purchase option, with a series of time framed hurdles to raise funding for the rehabilitation of the grounds. Design and engineering services are to cover any health and safety concerns emanating from the old waste dump. We ask which specialised engineering fields for adaptation of a waste site are required, including a waste technology, waste management, contaminated sites, geotechnics, geology, hydrogeology, or environmental planning? A team including civil engineers, geologists, environmental engineers and surveyors will need to collaborate with the Swakopmund authorities for the best possible results. The site needy to be secured; encapsulated and rehabilitated to enhance in-situ social-ecological systems. We need to create a safe environment for the users, and that can attract tourists!

How can we link urban-rural development through socio-spatial solutions using sustainable urban agriculture as a productive green infrastructure?


Because Swakopmund municipality cannot keep up with the pace of economic migration, we need to create new sustainable economies such as urban agriculture. Community-centred research and design approaches can materially enable and provide spatial advancements for the residents of the Swakopmund community.

In creating sustainable business, communities and environments around operations for the benefit of all stakeholders, an AEDI question is can we not utilise infrastructures for more than its intended purpose? Is it not possible to green the desert? What are the environmental planning and implementation procedures going forward to make this possible? How can we employ material lessons from our local environment to create a shared environment for everyone? A financial plan would need to outline the significant capital and operating funds needed to realise the vision and to identify potential revenue sources to create and sustain a vibrant, accessible park proposal  Because of the scale and complexity of the Matatura mountain transformation, it requires a financial strategy. Realization of the vision of the project will require early strategic capital investments that generate excitement about the project and change public perceptions of the site: Ongoing maintenance will need to consider balancing public funds with potential revenue-generating uses that are compatible with the park.  In order for this to be a success, the park construction and maintenance investments must be undertaken with a clear understanding of municipalities versus the owner’s mandate.

behind every initiative there is a story’