Architecture, power and the secrets of the city: A Future Cape Town Walking Tour

WHEN: 15 September
TIME: 10-12pm
WHERE: To meet at City Hall.


Join Future Cape Town’s Brett Petzer as we travel through time, and take a walking tour of the most beautiful buildings in the city,with a narrative based on phases of Cape Town’s planning history. The tour aims to ‘unflatten’ the Cape Town we see by looking at the history of power that made the collection of historic buildings that enrich this Station and Parliament precincts today, and the spaces in between. 
We start at City Hall and look at the basic structure of the Victorian bones of Cape Town, and the benefits and costs that we grapple with today as a result. Moving to the Station, and taking the retail subway into Golden Acre, we talk about Modernism and its great Cape Town monuments, and we show how the Good Hope Centre, the Civic Centre, the Nico Malan and the Foreshore Highways all share the same basic philosophy, and came out of the same basic sets of assumptions. Then, on to Greenmarket Square, we talk about heritage and entertainment in city spaces, taking the superb concentration of Art Deco and Art Nouveau architecture there as a luxury product in itself – one, that is currently being squandered because the most we can do is fill it with traders, rather than make it one of the city’s premier spaces. Finally, a walk down Company Gardens, Parliament and back on Plein St, meandering back to City Hall and past the Mutual Heights/GPO pairing. Using St George’s Cathedral and the Mutual Heights/GPO rivalry, we discuss the rival liberal and nationalistic history of the Cape Province and the liberal City government versus the Apartheid central state, and how the two fought from the 1960s to the 1990s.