Helping to transform the city by re-energising public spaces is starting to sound trite; especially when I am still unable to provide a specific date, time, etc.! But then comes around Warda Rahim, the Chairwoman for Salt River's Community Forum and reminds me why we have no choice but to Open Streets! She says people in the neighborhood will be thrilled to participate; some may be able to sell the goods they normally have no outlet for; perhaps kids from the Woodstock shelter would have a chance to roll out that theatre piece they have worked on for a while now; and the small businesses on Albert Rd. could get the exposure they normally don't get. She says perhaps the drug dealer who makes Gympie St. a rather dodgy space might come out to join in and remember this is also his community. She says perhaps, that could be the moment that could change his life. People do change she says.
It is good to remember why this matters; especially now that the Department of Transport has officially confirmed Open Streets will be launched as part of Transport Month in October this year. On Friday we'll be deciding where and when, how much it is going to cost, who will be involved, etc. so the work is really only getting to a start. Nevertheless, this commitment means the Transport department will back up the first trial and will help to ensure it's such a success there's no option but to continue opening streets on a regular basis in Cape Town.
After all, Open Streets matters because it can effectively help to transform this city one street at a time.