Seawinds residents now have their own “smart” park after it was officially opened to the public last week.Built at a cost of R7.6m, it is the sixth such park, following similar ventures in Atlantis, Nomzamo, Delft, Khayelitsha and Gugulethu. The project by the City of Cape Town included upgrading a portion of an existing facility belonging to the City’s recreation and parks department into an integrated facility that offers informal and formal recreational opportunities.“The smart park design landed our recreation and parks department an award for excellence from the Institute for Landscape Architecture two years ago and it’s no surprise, because it provides a whole new take on outdoor recreation. Through this approach, we are developing high-quality parks in the city’s most underserved areas and opening opportunities to residents that they would have had to travel great distances before to access,” says JP Smith, Mayco member for safety, security and social services.The Seawinds park is one of these strategic sites and has been developed with a focus on family recreation. The park includes a water play area where children can learn about the water cycle and splash around in shallow water, an area focused on younger children’s play, a multipurpose playground, two multipurpose courts that can host a variety of ball games, a picnic area and covered stage, as well as outdoor exercise areas.The water play area works with a recycling process, where water is reused and circulates through the river stream and log channel. Inside the pump house, the reused water is cycled through a filtration process. Overflow from the underground storage tank is fed back into the surrounding trees via a subsoil drain pipe.In terms of landscaping, 120 drought-tolerant trees will provide shade to visitors and add to the beauty of the park.“We’re acutely aware of the need to be water wise given the ongoing drought and I believe that the design of this park is a prime example of how service delivery can continue without adding pressure to the already stressed water supply,” adds Smith.Eddie Andrews, Mayco member (South), says the timing of the opening was significant. “It is appropriate that the opening of this facility coincided with Heritage Day, because it’s meant to bring people together for shared experiences,” says Andrews.