Conversations last week were incredibly inspiring but also made me realise Open Streets entail a mammoth task from the event planning perspective: safety, cleaning, traffic control, security, and the list goes on. At one point, I panicked to such extent I thought it would be better to call the whole thing off. Luckily, and because the universe is also calling for Open Streets in Cape Town, Hammer Live Advertising came to the rescue. They quickly jumped on the idea of getting behind the Open Streets operations team as it complements their efforts to host the upcoming International Bike Festival in Cape Town. With a big track record in event organizing for big brands, Open Streets Cape Town seems to now have the right backbone in place to ensure all the logistics are well covered.
The only challenge of course is ensuring the infrastructure is there and this is where the City comes to the table. Many resources and expenses are incurred when opening streets for citizens and non motorized vehicles; an ironic reality given that we all own streets, yet only motor-vehicles have the ability to use them and abuse them on a 24 hour basis. In any case, the city will have to come to the party with the services and support needed for the 23 of September to inaugurate what promises to be a new city institution.
In the meanwhile, the Open Streets team, which has continued to grow exponentially -in addition to new volunteers joining the team, few dozen institutions have endorsed the concept formally by signing a support letter we will be showing the city tomorrow- has made real progress in developing details on the proposal.
The inaugural event, taking place on 23rdSeptember, 2012 will consist in opening a route for ONLY non-motorised transport from the Parade to the Salt River Circle from 9.00 to 14.00. Along this route, specific activities will be organised aimed at re-energising public spaces to promote social integration and freedom of movement. Through this inaugural event, citizens will be introduced to the long-term vision of Open Streets Cape Town of equally sharing public space and building healthier, sustainable and integrated communities. It will do so by highlighting a non-motorised transport route from Woodstock to the CBD, linking this to Heritage month, Design Week and World Car-Free Day.
The area chosen includes a mix of income groups, alternative bypass routes for vehicles, and direct access to public transport (Woodstock contains both Metrorail and MyCiTi stations),
The stamp of approval from the City is expected to be given this week so great anticipation as the week begins...