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Aurecon supports UCT to capture heritage project in Zanzibar

Mizingani Sea Wall project in Zanzibar

Aurecon provided engineering consultancy services for the Mizingani Sea Wall and Associated Promenade in Zanzibar

13 March 2018  Global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon is one of a group of companies sponsoring the University of Cape Town to document the intervention and upgrading of the historic Stone Town Seafront in Zanzibar.

The Mizingani Seafront and Promenade, as the ongoing construction project is known, forms part of the Stone Town Historic Conservation Plan (STHCP).  Implementation of the STHCP is overseen by the Zanzibar Urban Services Project (ZUSP) and the Stone Town Conservation and Development Authority (STCDA), which aims to preserve and upgrade urban infrastructure within the area and enhance the physical environment and public locations within Stone Town.  

Aurecon has been involved in projects on the Stone Town Seafront since 2012. Maintaining the site’s integrity as a heritage site and ensuring that the structural integrity of original buildings wasn’t jeopardised were of paramount importance throughout the projects. The academic research that Aurecon is currently supporting aims to document the completed works at Stone Town’s Seafront using Stereo Photogrammetry and highly detailed 3D models based on laser scanning. The images will be made available freely online as a component of the UCT Zamani website, which is an African cultural heritage and landscape database that can be accessed via www.zamaniproject.org.

Pieter van Heerden

Aurecon Associate, Pieter van Heerden

Aurecon Associate, Pieter van Heerden, says that capturing the heritage and the architecture of historical areas and buildings is something that is becoming increasingly important across the African continent.

“Africa is rich with history and there are often very few records of some of our iconic buildings, structures and urban environments,” he says.

Other cultural and heritage sites on the Zamani Project’s website enable users to interactively walk around virtual environments or the sites based on data that has been captured and processed by the UCT team, headed by Professor Heinz Rüther. Besides being able to provide public access to 3D models of heritage areas and buildings, this data will also assist in nurturing environmental and heritage professionals for the future.

Van Heerden explains that by capturing information about urban areas, buildings, upgrades and interventions at heritage sites, engineers and architects will be better equipped to restore the buildings to their original look if the buildings are damaged or deteriorated due to conflict, climate change or other natural influences.

“The work that is being undertaken at the Stone Town Seafront in Zanzibar, as well as the data capturing that is being done by the Zamani Project, are both of paramount importance to the engineering and architectural sector, as well as to Africa’s history. Aurecon is proud to be able to support such a worthy cause,” says van Heerden. 

Aurecon is supporting this work as a donation. Other donors for the research include Planning Partners International; MBB Consulting Engineers (South); WML Coast Consulting Engineers; Rawlins Wales Cape (Pty) Ltd; and the University of Cape Town School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics.

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