Liveable Cities: Top 10 Articles of 2012

After a remarkable year at Future Cape Town, which included an entirely new website, and a whole host of new contributors from South Africa, and abroad, here are your 10 favourite articles of 2012 (based on your clicks). Transport seems to be the dominant theme but the Olympic Games, the struggle to define liveability and even a vision for an Opera House were popular too.

Cue music. In tenth position:

10: Elevated cycle lanes for London?

Plans have been released by London’s Mayor to create elevated cycle lanes designed by Exterior Architecture. Users will be charge with 1 UKP on their Oyster cars to use the lanes. This allows you to bicycle without buses, trucks or other hazardous elements. Read more

9: South Africa to purchase new trains to replace ancient rail fleet

The Gibela Rail Transport Consortium (Gibela), comprising Alstom-Actom has beaten out several other rail companies and consortia, to be named as the preferred supplier for the PRASA Rolling Stock Fleet Renewal Programme which will see “3600 vehicles delivered over a 10 year period from 2015 to 2025, with a cost implication of R51 billion”. Read more.

8: Cape Town without the Foreshore Freeways

Cape Town’s Foreshore freeway strangles the city and cuts it (and its people) off from the Port and water’s edge. With a comparison to San Francisco’s Embarcadero, Gareth Pearson questions what would happen if we did away with the Foreshore section of Nelson Mandela Boulevard altogether. Read more

7: What if Cape Town had won its bid to host the Olympic Games?

What if we could go back in time- 1997 to be precise- and try to imagine the impact of Cape Town’s bid for the 2004 Olympic Games? What immediately comes to mind would be the strategic land parcels, like Wingfield, Culemborg and others, which would have been developed for the Olympic Games. Today, 15 years later, both sites remain unused and in a appalling state, while the relevant national government departments and parastatals like Transnet drag their feet. Read more

6: The Case For Better Cycleways: Albert Road

The stretch of road from Station Road on Liesbeek Parkway through Woodstock along Albert Road is a crucial route for bicyclers. One can bike into the City Bowl on a safe cycleway separated from traffic from as far as Rondebosch, until reaching the dreaded Station/Liesbeek intersection. The intersection itself is not the problem, it’s the fact that it marks the end of safe cycleway and the start of the dangerous final stretch into the city. A bicycle lane is planned for this route, but the design that it takes will determine whether it is truly beneficial. Read more

5: Vision for Artscape Opera House complex unveiled

Artscape, the management company of the Artscape Theatre Centre, today unveiled a R1.5 billion plan to transform the 41-year-old complex into an iconic cultural precinct. Dubbed Artscape Live Vision 20!20, the strategy comprises the development of 17,000sqm of vacant land to create one of the largest precincts in Africa dedicated to the performing arts. Read more.

4:  World’s most liveable cities unveiled

The World’s Most Livable Cities are..? The Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest ranking of the World’s Most Livable cities, sees Melbourne top the rankings. How did your city do? Read more

3: Future Harbour: Cape Town’s Harbour in 2040

What will Cape Town’s Harbour look like in 2040? In a presentation to the Public-Private Infrastructure Forum, Transnet Executive Manager of Group Planning, Phumelele Motsoahae, highlighted the concept for the expansion of Cape Town Harbour. Read more

2: Cape Town to study options for the future of Foreshore Freeways

The City of Cape Town is expected partner with the University of Cape Town (UCT) to find creative ways to complete the unfinished highway on the city’s foreshore was approved by the Portfolio Committee for Transport, Roads and Stormwater this morning. It will now be submitted to a full Council meeting for approval. Read more

1: 2012 City Surverys: Monocle and Mercer by Rashiq Fataar
Consulting agency Mercer recently released its annual Cost of Living Survey. Focused on the cost of living for expatriates, the survey covers 214 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. Monocle too recently released its 2012 Quality of Life survey. The survey considers a host of economic and social factors, including things like ”24 hour metabolism”, where cities were given extra points for not shutting down at 10 PM. Read more

Image courtesy Mr Tickle – Wachoo Wachoo Tribe Congressman