The City of Cape Town called for public comment on new design concept for upgrading Kruskal Avenue pedestrian corridor in Bellville. Future Cape Town offered a four themed commentary regarding vision, research and information, cultural and community, and finally physical infrastructure needing addressing.
Future Cape Town submitted the following commentary in response to a call for public comment on the proposal presented for the upgrading of Kruskal Avenue within the city of Bellville. We would like to recognise and commend the effort made by the City of Cape Town’s Transport and Development Authority (TDA) to improve the Kruskal Avenue environment for both pedestrians and community through the redesigning and restructuring of public infrastructure.
It must be noted that the plan suggests a disconnect between people and place. Ownership and feeling at home are important within the Bellville CBD area. It is easy to change a physical space or architectural landscape, however far harder to change equality of social movement. The plan as it currently stands, does little to respond to this disconnection and the local culture/cultural practices.
This commentary includes four parts:
- Research and Information
- Culture and Community
- Physical Infrastructure
- The Proposal lacks a clear, overarching vision and also lacks objectives to be achieved by the proposed changes to the Avenue.
- It was found to lack a clearly defined hypothesis and areas that will be addressed.
- By defining the core problem statements the Proposal should establish indicators for measures of success and a monitoring strategy to evaluate the success of the interventions.
Research and information
- The Proposal makes use of some very vague terms that should be more clearly framed. Firstly the idea of celebrating Kruskal avenue on Voortrekker corridor as a gateway to the CBD improve pedestrian circulation needs to stipulate what this actually means and how it will be achieved. The statement could do more to inspire e.g. does this including funding for programming?. In addition the notion that the space should reflect positive inspiring urban environment may be misplaced and open ended.
- Overall the it has a lack of evidence or information given to establish the grounds for the development. A more substantive representation of qualitative and quantitative data in conjunction with a physical assessment of the area should be given. During the review of the information and graphics given were needing clarity as they prevented the reader from visualise the proposed changes in space.
Culture and community
- It can be noted that there are few, if any reference to the community or cultural context within the area. Bellville is a very demographically and ethnically rich area and the Proposal needs to be cognitive of the complexity of this issue. There seem to be no efforts mentioned made to promote the area’s unique/special cultural/social identity.
- This proposal gives no reference to the broader grave problem and societal issues surrounding xenophobia, cultural segregation and disbelonging.
- The invitation to contribute to the design ideas in the future seem to be limited to a particular audience who have access to social media or even just a computer/ email. The proposal should address how the development will encourage the local community to contribute.
- The urban plan is limited in the sense that it does not show a strategy plan – how will people have confidence in the procedure or at least the proposal for the procedure? How will the development ensure a transparent development strategy?
- We support the Proposal’s aims to implement ‘play elements’ for younger individuals.
- It is unclear if a walkability or non-motorised strategy of the Bellville CBD has informed the proposed masterplan
- Within section 2 the Proposal plans to improve pedestrian crossings but the Voortrekker Road/Intersection is a big interruption of movement and this Proposal fails to streamline crossing the intersection following the pedestrian walk.
- FCT supports the plan to implement a few of the landscaping recommendations, like the roof structure for the markets and removing all the artificial stones etc.
- Support is shown for the landscaping plan for the removal of the stones.
- In terms of the physical structures in the attached Concept design rev.3 gave no mention of ethnically diverse practices or cultural interests which would be included within the foundation of the development.
- No information was given about how these changes going to affect traffic planning/ management in the area.
- In order to slow traffic and make it safer, one effective strategy for slowing—or calming—traffic in congested areas is the addition of raised crosswalks.
Share your comments on the proposed design concept here.
Read similar case studies here:
- Superkillen : This case study illustrates the community interests as well as needs with the creation of a “global” urban space: .“A sort of surrealist collection of global urban diversity that in fact reflects the true nature of the local neighborhood – rather than perpetuating a petrified image of homogenous Denmark.” This case study uses inclusive collaboration from the start of the development. How is the public to be included in the development of Kruskal Avenue? Source: http://www.archdaily.com/286223/superkilen-topotek-1-big-architects-superflex
- Streetscape design: http://whatworksforhealth.wisc.edu/program.php?t1=21&t2=12&t3=79&id=296
- A Guide to Building Health Streets: http://www.changelabsolutions.org/sites/default/files/Building_Healthy_Streets_FINAL_20160630.pdf
- Montana Complete Streets Toolkit: http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/Portals/85/publichealth/documents/NutritionAndPhysicalActivity/MontanaCompleteStreetsToolkitSmall.pdf
- The Best Complete Streets Policies 2012: https://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/app/legacy/documents/cs-2012-policy-analysis.pdf provides a good overview : “What makes a strong Complete Streets policy?”
- Future Cape Town
- City of Cape Town’s Transport and Development Authority (TDA)