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August 22, 2011

Redevelopment Projects by Design: Where To From Here?

City Redevelopment

The Grand Parade was upgraded ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Photo courtesy Danie van der Merwe

The countdown to the announcement of the World Design Capital 2014 has begun, and we are all anxiously waiting for October to roll around.

But what will winning the title mean for the Mother City?

While we will all certainly benefit through the sense of creative camaraderie established with our international and local counterparts and experience a step up on the universal innovation ladder, it is Cape Town’s redevelopment projects that stand to gain the most from this achievement.

From the proposed Desmond Tutu Peace Centre in the City Centre and the upgrade of St George’s Mall to the development of skate parks across the Peninsula, innovation district The Fringe and the Integrated Rapid Transport system (IRT) already in effect, there are plenty of noteworthy projects that will improve the quality of life for Capetonians.

Let’s take a look at how some of the redevelopment projects will be implemented:

Artscape Theatre

Home to the Western Cape arts since 1971, the Artscape Theatre epitomises entertainment and culture in the Mother City. Unfortunately, it has also been on the fringes of the central city for almost as long.

Now, with fantastic innovative developments within its vicinity (namely the Central City IRT’s main station), it’s on the brink of reconnecting with the city. Big plans are underway to include the Artscape Theatre in the Cape Town International Convention Centre’s (CTICC) expansion.

This expansion project will see Artscape’s complex being extended, the development of commercial and residential space, a three-star hotel and the improvement of the surrounding public space.

Athlone Power Station Site

Last year’s highly anticipated and well-attended demolition of the Athlone power towers has left a gaping hole in our skyline and underused space.

Some of the proposals for the use of this area (which is on the borders of Langa, Pinelands and Athlone) include public institutions (a cultural centre or museum), retail developments and a refuse transfer station.

Now that’s what I call the power of thinking!

Bellville Science Park

Yes, Bellville is the hub of Cape Town’s zef music scene, but it also ranks high on the redevelopment charts.

The proposed development, the Bellville Science Park, sits on 300ha (roughly the size of the City Centre) and will be used to connect the six hospitals, universities and industries currently in operation in the area.

The science park’s key focus areas will include renewable energy and nanotechnology.

Broadband infrastructure network

Being connected in today’s world is an absolute must.

The City of Cape Town’s cost-effective broadband infrastructure network will allow buildings from the CBD to Atlantis, Simon’s Town, Gordon’s Bay and Kraaifontein to communicate with each other, thereby freeing up some bandwidth that can be sold to citizens (particularly the creative-minded) and attract foreign investors.

CTICC extension

Besides the Artscape Theatre development mentioned above, the CTICC’s extension plans include increased exhibition space and an environmentally friendly building, with a green roof.

Cape Town port development and cruise-liner terminal

Shiver me timbers, there are major changes coming to the Mother City’s main port.

Preparations are being made for a cruise-liner terminal and the development of the port that will see increased connectivity between the city and the sea by creating a connection between the water’s edge and CTICC and Roggebaai Canal precinct.

Cape Town Station

All aboard!

Since the 2010 FIFA World Cup, we’ve seen our beloved Cape Town Station undergo a major face-lift.

The next phase of the makeover will include the completion of the new long-distance bus terminal, the conversion of the old terminal into a public space and the renovation of the station deck.

The District Six redevelopment project

Previously evicted residents of the colourful District Six are excited about moving back to their historical home.

The redevelopment of this land is geared towards the restitution of the property to its rightful owners and the revitalisation of the CBD.

Grand Parade development

The oldest South African public space, the Grand Parade, was the host of a fan park during the FIFA World Cup last year and was thus able to show off its improved lighting and electrical systems, as well its landscaping.

Its second phase of redevelopment includes an IRT station, a retail market area and space creation.

Khayelitsha CBD development

New housing and improved access to the buildings of Khayelitsha’s CBD are on the cards for this sprawling township.

With a shopping mall, taxi rank, hospital and sports pavilion driving the economic force in this township, the redevelopment will be most welcomed.


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