On Wednesday 23rd July we celebrated the milestone of signing a contract with the City of Cape Town to roll out a series of Open Streets across the city. Taking advantage of the beautiful space created by the Department of Design, an eclectic group of street-minded Capetonians came together to celebrate and propose ideas for the Open Streets 2014/2015 programme. Inspired by the Open Streets manifesto which proclaims Cape Town's streets could be much more than they are the flow of ideas throughout the night created a genuine spirit of citizenship.
The evening kicked off with some videos and an overview of the proposed programme for Open Streets Days in Langa, Woodstock, Sea Point and Muizenberg. In conjunction with World Design Capital project, the Muizenberg Festival, the first Open Streets Day is expected to take place on 12 October in Muizenberg.
After building some energy in the room through an ice-breaker exercise that got participants sharing their reason for coming along for the evening, the group split up into smaller discussion groups. Each of these was focused on a different street-related theme, and generated more than enough ideas to fuel the upcoming Open Streets day. Some of the brainstormed ideas are as follows:
Streets for community-building:
*home-based planning meetings instead of in halls* what if there were no walls? murals*open up front yards to neighbours*neighbourhood task teams*street games like hopscotch*street murals that slow traffic*round-robin street soccer*set up dining tables and chairs for community use*community notice board*skills exchange display*
Streets for mobility:
*Flinstones cars*visual language that incentivises walking, cycling, pushing a pram*1000 calories to St. George's Mall*First Argus training ride*traffic back up bikes*lane dedicated to cycling, walking, skating*carry your (physical) carbon footprint *benefits of NMT environmental inforgraphic*group cycle to Open Streets*
Streets for creative expression:
*art gallery in the street*living art on the streets*use of bodies and dancing*playing with clay - ceramic street studio*interactive play with pin hearts*dress up clothes rail*parade*upscaling old clothes*digital dancing*BUZZ stops that display art and movies*drive-in movie screening*community documentary screening*stories of bridging divides*live digital design*live mural painting*
Safe and positive streets:
*kids play area*safety measure for those using public transport*reduced noise levels*art therapy sessions*advertise widely*sports referees*book readings*recycling initiative*ensure universal accessibility*first aid workshop*parenting workshop*assistance for people with disabilities*bicycle maintenance workshop*transport sponsorship system for those who can't afford it*naked Open Streets*night time music performances*continuous activity along the street*
*get council buy-in*halt the urban sprawl*Signal Hill cable car*street braai* walk and see more mentality*bring buildings to the street front of plots*skinny streets policy*CBD tramways*enable communities to make changes*car share ferries*block gardens that community cares for and benefits from*bicycle share scheme*challenge perceptions of how to live*walk, ride and use public transport*
Streets for economic opportunity:
*local designer market*streets for food production and exchange*community-based food markets*cultural food exchange*local food system design*alternative Open Streets day currency*coffee partnerships between city and townships*street braai*street poitjie*public street kitchen*Talking Streets*street classrooms*city exploring by bike*
Photos from the evening can be viewed here.
If you have anything to add to these ideas, please share with us and get involved to turn them into reality. Stay tuned for the next Co-creating Open Streets event!