"This [Talking Streets] was in the streets surrounding Bellville station, an area that a lot of Capetonians are unfamiliar with. Right at the bottom of Durban Road (only 3 km from Tyger Valley Centre, but a world away), this is a busy area that some people call Little Mogadishu because it is a centre of activity for Somalis who have filled a gap left by businesses that have moved elsewhere.
It is where hundreds of traders come to buy the goods they sell across the city, and it is Cape Town's second busiest transport hub, with tens of thousands of people passing through daily on their way to work. Many people would see this as a place in decline, but if you look beyond first impressions, it becomes clear that there is energy here, a dynamic that demonstrates a richness of experience and confidence felt by the people who use the place.
It is being regenerated, as one member of the group pointed out. It's just not the sexy kind of regeneration we associate with places like Woodstock or Bree Street. It's the kind that combines community and commerce. It regenerates the human spirit rather than buildings. And because of that, it might hold some secrets for how the rest of Cape Town works or could work."
Read the rest of the column on Rory's website.
For a remarkable audiovisual story of the experience, take a look at Craig Kensley's post, "If these streets could talk."
This Talking Streets was held in partnership with the Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) as part of their 'Future Tyger Creative' series. It was the first public activity carried out in our exploration (in collaboration with the GTP) of the potential for an Open Streets day in Bellville.