Open Call : Ideas for the water crisis at Church Square’s new pop-up park

A pop-up urban park made of a giant 500sqm circle of artificial grass will be placed in Church Square to highlight the water-crisis to locals and visitors in a fun, creative and interactive way. It will be a temporary installation  from the 27 November 2017 through to the 16 May 2018.

Open-Call for water-crisis awareness ideas on the square

Church Square is located on Spin and Parliament Street in the heart of Cape Town, next to Parliament and at the bottom of Companies Gardens. The square is the subject of a major regeneration project which is a public/private partnership between City of Cape Town and Urban Lime properties. It is managed by a registered Non-Profit-Company: Church Square Cape Town . More information here and find our Church Square report here.

A three months-long urban intervention to reimagine an open to all public urban space on Church Square that raises awareness about water scarcity. 

Part of our mission is to bring attention to the square, encouraging locals and visitors to reimagine urban public space with this temporary solution designed to delight, engage and encourage people to linger in the square. The Western Cape water crisis will be highlighted with an open call to Capetonian and Western Cape residents to get involved and offer a platform for city engagement. A wide range of visitor activity will be managed by Church Square NPO and encouraged, in line with their inclusive and free mandate. There will be fun things like free deck-chairs, managed and curated public art and performance. 

Currently, the Church Square Pop-Up Park will feature:

  • A local construction company is making rainbow constructed from 500 1ltr buckets each representing 1m litres and the amount we are currently over using – 82 – will be displayed by black buckets below.
  • Local artist Jaco Sieberhagen’s large sculpture “Tug of War” which shows the push/pull of humans and the delicate balance of water.
  • A local cocktail bar will make a huge digital clock which will count down to no-water-left-day-zero.
  • A local comedian performing piece entitled ‘If it’s Yellow Let it Mellow’.


Share ideas and projects to raise awareness on the grass circle to talent@ChurchSquare.CapeTown and follow the guidelines of the City Public Art and Busking Guidelines. It could be an installation, art work, performance piece, talk, technology or any initiative which uses the public space to raise awareness around water issues and opportunities in our city and region.

Launch Event

RSVP Here 

If you are media, RSVP here

You are invited to the unveiling of the giant artificial grass circle which will be installed temporarily into Church Square (Spin and Parliament Street) to raise awareness of the current water crisis. Come for talks, performances and to contribute to a festival of water saving ideas!

DATE: MON 27 NOV 2017
TIME: 5:00 PM for 5:30 PM UNVEILING

This project is a collaboration between Church Square Non-Profit Company and Future Cape Town; supported and underwritten by Urban Lime Properties SA Pty Ltd. It was inspired by the recent installation by artist SpY who transformed Madrid’s Playa Mayor with an incredibly simple yet effective installation.

There are 2 comments

  1. Thomas Edward Miller

    I am pretty sure this idea will increase rainfall: Rain for drought areas near the coast by humidifying the air with a line of spray pumps floating in the sea: Just a line of spray pumps a kilometre long could create a huge amount of evaporation. If the spray has droplet size of 80 microns it will fall at a rate of about 0.2 m/s. If it is sprayed at 10 m above the sea it will take 10/0.2=50 seconds to fall to the sea. With a wind blowing at 3 m/s the spray would travel 50×3=150 m. So you will constantly have an area of 1000 m by 150 m with spray in. When the humidified air blows to land the chances of rain would be increased. It would cost a mere fraction of the cost of building another dam. I used a terminal settling velocity formula to calculate the rate of falling. It seems an extremely cheap method of humidifying the air and getting more rain. says, “For suppression of airborne dust, air atomizing nozzles or hydraulic fine spray nozzles that produce drops between 20 and 200 μm are used.” Therefore it appears feasible to have a droplet size of 80 microns.

    ​Example: Suppose sea and air temperature above the sea and over land is 20 deg C. Suppose the relative humidity (RH) is 60%. Then the wet bulb temperature is 15.21 deg C. If we assume fine mist evaporative cooling with an efficiency of 80%, then the evaporation of spray will cool the air down to 16.17 deg C. This is 3.83 deg C lower than the 20 deg C. With sea at 20 deg C and air at 16,17 deg C the air can be heated from below by the sea. This would simulate the situation in option 1. I calculate that 1.9 g of water needs to be evaporated into every cubic metre of air to result in a temperature lowering of 3.83 deg C. If the spray generators were permanent, a cooler micro-climate would result, but sea temperatures would stay more constant and convectional rain should occur. Calculating relative humidity (RH) after an 80% efficiency fine mist cooling, I get that RH=90% after evaporation. With such a high RH, if you heated an air parcel 2 deg C to 18.17 deg C, it could rise 606 m by virtue of being 2 deg C warmer, and it would only have to rise 456 m for cloud to start forming (used general sorts of lapse rates).
    What will happen with higher humidity and a mist above the sea? Well if you look at minimum temperature is summer, you will see they are generally lower than sea temperatures. This means the system will keep in heat that is being radiated to space by the sea. Water has a high emissivity of 0.95 or so so the amount of radiation kept in by the greenhouse effect will be substantial and the area, even with evaporation could warm up. With warmer and more humid conditions the chances of rain when the moist air blows to land are increased substantially. Moist air is heated by radiation from sea and land (greenhouse effect) and this helps moist air rise. Moist air is less dense than dry air and this also enhances chances of rain. If you want details of calculations please email me.

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