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New Urban Design Concept

Design and development

In early 2000, when prospective owners saw Thesen Islands for the first time, they were confronted with a dismal sight. Derelict old buildings, vast dumps, polluted salt marshes and abandoned, rusting machinery littered the 90-hectare wasteland. The still unconstructed waterways were just ink-blue arteries on the master plan. Visitors were subjected to a jolting, off-road, bush-strewn ride in a wheezing old four-by-four. Most of the stands were simply unapproachable and identifiable only on the plan. Many of these early visitors were convinced that making the island habitable – let alone turning it into a luxury marina – was impossible.

But a significant minority pictured Chris Mulder's vision for Thesen Islands, noted his fierce determination and commitment to the project, and purchased stands in the waterlogged, polluted swamps. Within five short years those far-sighted investors were handsomely rewarded with the enjoyment of a unique lifestyle in a restored marine environment.

New Urban Design Concept    New Urban Design Concept    New Urban Design Concept

New Urban Design

The New Urbanist, or Traditional Neighbourhood Design philosophy, underlies the design concepts and planning of Thesen Islands.

Livable neighbourhoods are those built to reduce dependency on cars, provide easy access to public and commercial amenities, increase community interactivity, improve cost-effectiveness of services and provide a simplified but higher quality of life. The focus is on the pedestrian as opposed to the motor vehicle. Buildings, open spaces, streets and walkways are scaled down for the pedestrian to experience and relate to with enjoyment and appreciation.

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