Fan walks similar to the one linking the Cape Town city centre to Green Point should be established all over Cape Town, especially in suburbs such as Philippi, Athlone and Mitchells Plain.
That’s the view of Rashiq Fataar, director of Future Cape Town, a non-profit think tank that aims to inspire a more liveable and progressive Cape Town.
On Saturday Fataar led a walking tour in the city centre that forms part of Cape Town’s programme for the 2014 World Design Capital.
The walking tour, attended by 33 people, started on the pedestrian bridge across Buitengragt, which is part of the 2.6km long fan walk.
Fataar said the fan walk, one of a series of developments before the soccer World Cup, created a safe pedestrian route from the city centre to the Cape Town Stadium.
He questioned why suburbs such as Philippi, Athlone and Mitchells Plain were not given the same preference, saying every suburb should have a fan walk.
“Why can’t every community have a safe route from their train stations to their homes?” Fataar asked.
A consultant for Future Cape Town, Brett Petzer, said the fan walk was “beautiful”, and showed “the city invites you and understands you”, whether you’re on bicycle or on foot.
The fan walk was an example of how “traffic yields to the more vulnerable”, with pedestrians feeling protected, he added.
One of the participants in the two-and-a-half-hour long walking tour, Dudu Luthuli, said she’d never heard of the fan walk.
If she had, she would have used the fan walk to get to the start of the walking tour, instead of taking a taxi, she said.
Fataar said a reason for this might be because “when we do things well, we don’t talk about it. The fan walk is a World Cup success and it’s time we talk about our successes once they’re here”.
At the Grand Parade, Fataar said it was a “harsh and uncovered” space with “prison-like lighting and weird pine trees that are not indigenous”.
It was also “disconnected” from the buildings opposite it, the City Hall and the Castle, he said.
“The Grand Parade ambles along, and it’s not sure if it’s a market or a parking space. It’s designed for control of civil unrest.”
Fataar said there should be more buildings around it, and it needed more greenery.
At the Portside building, bordered by Bree, Buitengragt, Hans Strijdom and Mechau streets, Fataar said although it was 139m tall, the tallest building in Cape Town, it should have contributed to making the city “more liveable” by including a housing component.
The building offers office and parking space.
Fataar also criticised the area around the building, saying it was too industrial.
On weekends and at night, it was quiet and unsafe, he added.
The walking tour also included the Thibault Square MyCiti bus station, the Naspers building on the Foreshore, the Cape Town International Convention Centre and the Cape Town station.
- Sunday Argus