Eveline Street Windhoek, Namibia Exploring Business Development and Street LifeScroll Down
Where is Eveline Street?See below for a bit of context.
About the ResearchIn 2016, the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation and UrbanWorks Architecture and Urbanism undertook research in Eveline Street, a township high street outside of Windhoek, Namibia. The street is famous as a leisure destination, with eighty different bars along the street.In 2006, the City of Windhoek resolved to rezone the properties along Eveline Street from residential to commercial, to enable bars to trade legitimately and begin formalising. As researchers trying to understand the informal economy and how it is (and should be) managed, Eveline Street provides a unique opportunity to study the results of a more pro-township-leisure-economy policy approach than is being implemented in South Africa.More about the research background, methods and findings are detailed in the report, ‘Transformative Leisure Economies’.
The Study SiteBar LocationsThe Centrality of Leisure
The numerous bars, night clubs, restaurants and casinos along Eveline Street are part of the township leisure economy. A range of secondary businesses, such as hair salons and car washes, emerge from the leisure economy as well.
Throughout Eveline Street, there are social, spatial and economic high-activity clusters, created as patrons of bars, restaurants, hair salons etc. move between venues in response to factors such as proximity, familiarity and accessibility.As opposed to being comprised of a linear and even spread of activity, the high street comprises a series of nodes of varying intensity. This fragmented yet interdependent distribution of activity is supported by the flexibility of taxi operations, which are able to pick up and drop off passengers on demand.
TransformationOver an eight-year period, we can trace (using spatial data and surveys) a densification in business activities and diversification of ownership.The major transformations have been:
Economic TransformationEconomic growth is evident on Eveline Street based on data collected in 2008 and 2016.
MICRO-ENTERPRISE SURVEY 2008
MICRO-ENTERPRISE SURVEY 2016
ENTERPRISE NUMBERS/CATEGORIES AS PERCENTAGE OF ALL ENTERPRISES, 2008 vs. 2016
PERCENTAGE OF ENTERPRISE CATEGORY LINKED TO BARS
Economic Growth2008 - 2016
Our research uncovered economic growth and economic diversification along Eveline Street. Between 2008 and 2016, the number of businesses along Eveline Street has doubled, from 133 to 270 businesses. Part of this has been an increase in the number of bars, from 61 to 80 bars – yet, as a proportion of all enterprises on the street, bars decreased from 45% to 29%. Hair salons, house shops, print shops, food takeaways, and vehicle services now take up a 37% share of the overall economy of the street.
The twin enterprise sectors that account for the economic transformation are bars and taxis.
Spatial TransformationPrivate investment has resulted in spatial transformation on Eveline Street. A combination of business rights, private land holding and favourable aspects of the urban layout have encouraged private investment in physical infrastructure (such as paving, lighting and shade cover). This has improved the quality of public space on Eveline Street.
A. FIRST FIXThe accompanying diagram illustrates the original infrastructure that informed the properties along Eveline Street.
01. Serviced infrastructure including roads, sidewalks, drainage and lighting.
02. ±200sqm stand sizes with 15m street frontage.
03. Standardised State housing placed in middle of plot.
04. Large street set-back (±5,0m)
05.Large sidewalk on both sides of street (±8,0m)
06. Privately constructed boundary walls. Original properties
do not have any enclosure.
B. EARLY TRANSFORMATIONSEarly responses to the original infrastructure sought to optimise and appropriate wherever possible.
01. Plots that have no formal top-structure are occupied with make-shift structures.
02. Original state houses are demolished to make way for new structures.
03. The road increases in intensity and supports a public transport system (taxis).
04. Sidewalks are appropriated through the use of encroachments, objects and surface treatments. Mountable kerbs allow for cars to access the sidewalk with ease.
05. Backyards are optimised with new structures for residential accommodation.
06. Additions are added to the front of original structures. In Eveline Street, liesure businesses were the first to utilise these property extensions.
07. Semi-permeable front yards are made between the new structure and sidewalk.
C. TRANSFORMED STREETSOver time, these small incremental changes result in a dramatic change to the street creating a diversity of uses.
01. Small residential accommodation is provided in immediate proximity to businesses.
02. New top-structures are created to replace original houses that better suit the economic interests of owners.
03. Business have direct street relationships and are small in scale.
04. The absence of boundary walls assist the formation of interdependent business relations.
05. Small structures are built on the public sidewalk to respond to the opportunity of the busy street.
06. Smaller business opportunities such as car washing, kapano and car repairs are stimulated and accommodated along the sidewalk.
07. Services such as ablutions are provided by private enterprises for their patrons.
08. The sidewalk is highly appropriated to allow for circulation, socialisation, business and entertainment.
Visual Examples of investment resulting in spatial transformation:
HAND WASHING STATION
CCTV ON STREET LIGHT POST (PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE)
STREET LIGHTS AND KAPANO MARKET (PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE)
SPEEDBUMP (PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE)
KAPANO BRAAI STANDS
Social TransformationSocial transformation has also occurred on Eveline Street, resulting in a uniquely configured urban setting. Commercial life is closely embedded in social life and made public through the relationship to the street. This constructs new forms of surveillance and public entrepreneurship.
Measured Approach to Drinkatainment
The bars on Eveline Street feature a comparatively measured and sophisticated approach to drinkatainment. This is evident in the layout of the venues, facilities (such as permanent bar counters and separate gender toilets), inclusion of non-alcoholic drinks, the role of the bars as non-alcohol drinking social spaces during the day, and their orientation towards the public realm.
Eveline Street features nodal dynamics and inter-relationships between different businesses and customers of businesses, resulting in a variety of people and entities in the area.
Multiple layers of surveillance of and from the street are also identified on Eveline Street.