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2015-05-05 06:00
This intersection along Mowbray Main Road is the focal point of a renewal project to better use public spaces.

This intersection along Mowbray Main Road is the focal point of a renewal project to better use public spaces.

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A project aimed at establishing a unified vision for the public spaces along Main Road, Mowbray was discussed at a meeting last week.

The presentation on how the vision had developed so far was met with mixed reactions from the community as they voiced their concerns about the future of Mowbray.

The presentation was the culmination of an initial project, including a workshop held with community members in December last year, by the City’s spatial planning and urban design department and the University of Cape Town.

At the workshop it was discussed how to make the main intersection in Mowbray safe for pedestrians to use, to establish a well-defined link with the Mowbray library and to open up the public spaces to the community.

The project, which focuses on the upgrade of Main Road, is known as “Node 6 World Design Capital Project” and was initiated by ward councillor Brett Herron.

Project coordinator Ancunel Steyn, a landscape architect, presented the “Node 6” workshop proposal last week.

Steyn says the project comprises the Rhodes Avenue, Victoria Road and Main Road intersection, the public space in front of the Mowbray library and the portion of Main Road that connects the intersection with the library.

The longterm vision for the intersection and its sidewalks is to make it safe for pedestrians to use and to remove the clutter visually and physically, for the portion of public land between Main Road and Erf 31108 to be activated and made popular for use by the community, for a well-defined link to exist between the intersection and the Mowbray library, for the public space in front of the library to be opened up to the community and for it to be well-designed and popular in the community.

In the shorter term the intersection will be made safe for pedestrians to use, a well-defined link with the Mowbray library will be established and the public space will be opened up to the community.

“The design proposal focused on the principles derived from the community workshop held at the town hall in Mowbray. These principles were then categorised into design strategies applicable for the urban street and the urban intersection,” Steyn says.

She says the design principles proposed should include food stalls, parks, weather-proof shelters and a safe environment. It should engage swings, tables and chairs, cards, dominoes, conversation and economic opportunities. The design should be economically sustainable, encourage community ownership and provide for skills development. It should also achieve functional sustainability and fit in with similar spaces.

“The design should include water resources, the design should restore natural habitat, it should be simple/easy to understand, prevent clutter, crime and illegal activities, it should encourage community involvement and access, be accessible for all and it should be a multi-functional space,” she says.

The presentation also placed the street design principles in an urban context.

Continued on page 3

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