Opening avenues to connect

2020-02-25 06:03
Victoria Road (Main Road) between Roodebloem Road and Searle Street, was transformed into a hive of activity.PHOTOS: KAYLyNNE BANTOM

Victoria Road (Main Road) between Roodebloem Road and Searle Street, was transformed into a hive of activity.PHOTOS: KAYLyNNE BANTOM

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Imagine a car-free road where cyclists can freely ride their bicycles and residents can walk their furry friends.

Loud music playing in the background, while aspiring artists entertain the crowds.

Well, this is exactly what was on offer at the fourth edition of Open Streets Woodstock held on Sunday 23 February.

The stretch of Victoria Road (Main Road) between Searle Street and Roodebloem Road – usually one of the most congested route in Cape Town – was closed down and became a hive of activity from 9:00 until 14:00.

The event was organised by the non-profit organisation (NPO) Open Streets Cape Town (OSCT). Rebecca Campbell, managing director for Open Streets, says: “We need shared public spaces where people can come together. In Cape Town, we live in disconnected, segregated communities and being in a public space together, living out life in public together, is something that helps all of us solve challenges. It’s about creating a public space that’s vibrant, safe and inclusive so we hope that by doing this kind of intervention it inspires people to see streets as public spaces where we can come together.”

Campbell says this is the 21st Open Streets in Cape Town and the fourth year that it was held in Woodstock. Previously, it was held in areas such as Mitchell’s Plain, the city centre, Langa, Bellville and Observatory.

The theme this year was “Play your Part” and participants and volunteers of Open Streets did exactly that. The hundreds of event-goers were treated to a variety of activities which included live bands, rappers and artists. Loud salsa music filled the streets while skateboarders showed off their skills.

New kid on the block was The Haven night shelter in District Six which had a street stall that gave away free clothing to homeless people.

Sheila Jacobs, manager at the shelter, says: “We want to help the homeless and tell them that there are alternatives for them, we want to inform them that The Haven is there for them.”

Campbell says they are now trying to figure out how to take this once-off day and translate it into the everyday. “We want to see more of this kind of atmosphere and the attitudes every day,” says Campbell.

Imagine a car-free road where cyclists can freely ride their bicycles and residents can walk their furry friends.

Loud music playing in the background, while aspiring artists entertain the crowds. Well, this is exactly what was on offer at the fourth edition of Open Streets Woodstock held on Sunday 23 February.

The stretch of Victoria Road (Main Road) between Searle Street and Roodebloem Road – usually one of the most congested route in Cape Town – was closed down and became a hive of activity from 9:00 until 14:00.

The event was organised by the non-profit organisation (NPO) Open Streets Cape Town (OSCT). Rebecca Campbell, managing director for Open Streets, says: “We need shared public spaces where people can come together. In Cape Town, we live in disconnected, segregated communities and being in a public space together, living out life in public together, is something that helps all of us solve challenges. It’s about creating a public space that’s vibrant, safe and inclusive so we hope that by doing this kind of intervention it inspires people to see streets as public spaces where we can come together.”

Campbell says this is the 21st Open Streets in Cape Town and the fourth year that it was held in Woodstock. Previously, it was held in areas such as Mitchell’s Plain, the city centre, Langa, Bellville and Observatory.

The theme this year was “Play your Part” and participants and volunteers of Open Streets did exactly that. The hundreds of event-goers were treated to a variety of activities which included live bands, rappers and artists. Loud salsa music filled the streets while skateboarders showed off their skills.

New kid on the block was The Haven night shelter in District Six which had a street stall that gave away free clothing to homeless people. Sheila Jacobs, manager at the shelter, says: “We want to help the homeless and tell them that there are alternatives for them, we want to inform them that The Haven is there for them.”

Campbell says they are now trying to figure out how to take this once-off day and translate it into the everyday.

“We want to see more of this kind of atmosphere and the attitudes every day,” says Campbell.

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