Observatory gets some Open Streets
Written by Yazeed Kamaldien
Observatory residents will host the Open Streets initiative this weekend in a bid to “enable citizens to move and use streets freely, safely and creatively.”
Lower Main Road will be a no-go zone for cars and other vehicles on Saturday afternoon. This is to create a “space for residents to interact, play, or just set up a chair and hang out.”
Marcela Guerrero Casas, an Open Streets campaigner and organiser, says the concept originated in Bogoto in South America and has since been implemented worldwide.
“It entails the creation of a temporary network of car-free areas and routes throughout a city,” she says.
Saturday’s event would be the “first leg of an envisaged network of Open Streets throughout Cape Town.”
“We are working to create streets that embody and generate respect for people, regardless of who they are and how they move,” adds Guerrero Casas.
She said organisers have also drawn up a programme that would include Africa Day celebrations, a makeshift skateboarding park and cycling activities. The latter comprises “bicycle races, a bike mechanic station and electric bikes for people to ride.”
“Residents have already designed family corners with braai and games for kids, street football, giant chess, puppets, folk circle dancing, a toy making station with recyclable material and a parade by the local theatre collective,” says Guerrero Casas.
“It will be a day of activity and creativity with Virgin Active offering Zumba lessons and yogis orchestrating sun salutations, while others beautify Open Streets through urban installations, busking, board games, chalk-drawing and more.”
A public meeting to keep the public informed about the event will be held at the Observatory Community Centre on May 23 at 6pm to 7pm.