All projects
Lukhanyo Hub · Cape Town, South Africa

An innovative model for climate-adaptive community hubs

School grounds implemented as a sustainable green catalyst for the neighbourhood


In recent years, we have been actively involved in the implementation of a replicable model for a climate-adaptive community hub designed to address the vulnerabilities present in South African townships. In collaboration with RCDC and local partners, our vision takes root in the unused land typically found within local school properties. This land can be readily transformed into resilient green spaces and facilities that benefit the entire community. The overarching objective is to progressively integrate multiple schools into our vision, thereby establishing a network of safe and vibrant spaces within the community. Located in the Intlaganiso Primary school in Khayelitsha, the Lukhanyo Hub functions as the first test-bed project for this vision.

Cape Town, South Africa
In progress
2018 - ongoing
Project area
1,2 ha
Intlanganiso School, Western Cape Education Department, Western Cape Department of Culture, Arts & Sport
RCDC, Isidima, Jack Carter Architects

Incremental approach and mutual trust

Our implementation strategy is based on a series of small, incremental interventions, supported by the daily involvement of stakeholders. Our efforts began with educational activities for schoolchildren and later involved older members of the community via the provision of professional trainings and job opportunities.


A crucial part of the process is the close collaboration with the local authorities, and above all, the Department of Education. This partnership is key to be able to repurpose school land for various social initiatives and external activities, all while establishing a connection with the standard educational curriculum.

The realisation of a football pitch for the kids of the neighbourhood and a vegetable garden serving the community kicked off the transformation of the land.


A climate-adaptive strategy tailored to the context of the South African townships

We have formulated a climate adaptation strategy for the community hub, featuring a set of cost-effective, climate-resilient tools. The primary goal of this strategy is to improve the local microclimate by introducing green spaces and implementing the concept of water circularity, involving the collection and reuse of rainwater. Additionally, the strategy seeks to restore a sustainable water cycle by dedicating specific areas for water infiltration, thereby replenishing the water table.

Creator of meaningful places

The first set of climate adaptive tools has been successfully implemented. It comprises of a hydroponic and aquaponic system, integrated with rainwater collection, serving to bolster the existing urban farm.  This system enriches the farm with added nutrients and expands the variety of cultivated crops. Moreover, it fulfils a dual purpose by promoting environmental awareness among the students, who actively participate in its daily management, and by bringing tangible reduction on water costs.


Green spaces

A fundamental component of the vision is the implementation of green spaces that could provide the children with a more comfortable environment while also supporting the climate adaptation efforts.

Creator of meaningful places

In the autumn of 2019, school children, alongside Sebastiaan Messerschmidt, the Dutch consul, took the first steps by planting a cluster of young trees. Since then, we were able to continue this process by adding 24 additional trees and 90 lavender plants, thanks to the generosity of our mission’s supporters.

Our aspiration is that this process eventually yields an Ubuntu tree as a gathering place for children and the wider community. Ubuntu signifies generosity, hospitality, kindness, care, and compassion—an ethos focused on sharing what one has. This embodies the underlying vision: Creating a green hub as a method of planting hope, knowledge, and resilience. It represents an enduring commitment to uplift a community, empower its youth, and co-create a greener, more inclusive tomorrow.

Discover other projects