The community of residents in Observatory congregated to discuss what the first Open Streets is going to look like on 25 May; a special Africa Day celebration no doubt!
The walk started in the rather unbecoming spot where McDonalds and KFC meet on Lower Main. Probably a good reminder that Open Streets is about exactly the opposite of what the two establishments represent: local businesses, healthy lifestyle and a local flavour which Obs residents are determined to find.
The delegation, approximately 20 people-strong, included representatives from the Observatory Improvement District, a group of young architecture students from UCT, a small delegation from the Department of Transport, several curious local residents, members of the Open Streets working group and one of the City councillors.
The group walked between Main Road and Collingwood Rd; the very first stretch of what will become a city-wide network of Open Streets for Cape Town and brainstormed on the different possibilities to bring the street alive. From street parties and braai competitions; to capoeira classes and a skateboarding park at Trenchtown, the group started to bring colour to the dream.
At the next community planning meeting on 2 May, 2013, the colourful plans will be showcased by a group of UCT architecture students who have set off to draw and package in an animated slide show what Lower Main Road could look on the 25 May. We will also follow up on some of the issues raised at this Walk & Talk; namely how we best link up with public transport nodes and how we ensure everyone in Obs, Salt River and beyond participate actively in the event. From a purely practical perspective, how to notify residents and business owners; how to ensure the concept is clearly and well differentiated from Obs Fest as Open Streets is not about a party but about mobility. It will also include the discussion of less pragmatic and more artistic ideas such as the creation of pavement gardens as suggested by one of the residents, film screenings and theatre.
Please send ideas, and join us as we meet on a weekly basis to continue the planning process
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26 days to go