CITYLIFT Foreshore Freeway Plan

How can the Cape Town city centre be reconnected with the sea, overcoming the barriers of the Foreshore Freeways?

CITYLIFT is a vision for Cape Town which proposes removing the elevated freeways, replacing it with an at-grade (ground level) road, and lifting the city grid over and above it towards the harbour. This would create a dense, vibrant, green new city district at the harbour’s edge, to act as a ‘grand urban balcony’ providing the public with views of the ocean and harbour, as well as Table Mountain.

CITYLIFT comprises three parts: the city extended to the harbour (at upper levels), sub-surface strategic movement systems, and a new linear park.

“dropping the working freeway to the ground and then gradually lifting the city up over this”


The first step involves demolishing the Foreshore Freeway Bridge, dropping the working freeway to the ground and then gradually lifting the city up over this, creating a raised ground that extends the grid of the city at a height of approximately 7 to 10 metres above the existing ground level – lifting it over the public transport and cars moving below. This would allow the CBD to expand, providing more mixed-use space for commercial, residential and cultural facilities and deliver a brand-new city district. A four-lane road in both directions, including dedicated BRT bus lanes, along with parking and other services infrastructure to support the developments above, and a future interface with the harbour, would be built beneath the raised city ground.


  • Team: Future Cape Town joined a 10-company partnership.  dhk architectsUrban-Think TankJAKUPA Architects and Urban Designers,  OKRA, Nigel Burls & Associates, Viruly Consulting, Rode and Associates, BTKM Quantity Surveyors and Trafficon
  • Location : Foreshore, Cape Town City Centre, South Africa
  • Status : One of six shortlisted bids in a competition initiated by the City of Cape Town.
  • Year :  2017