If you snooze you lose in Company’s Garden

Cape Town-130819-The City is looking a new design for its park benches, which will discourage people from sleeping on them. Picture Jeffrey Abrahams

Cape Town-130819-The City is looking a new design for its park benches, which will discourage people from sleeping on them. Picture Jeffrey Abrahams

Published Aug 20, 2013

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Cape Town - It will no longer be possible to snooze on Cape Town’s Company’s Garden benches because the city plans to remove “problematic” benches used to sleep on and replace them with more “creative” seating.

On Monday the Good Hope Subcouncil agreed on a motion to remove “problematic” benches on Government Avenue and find designers to create pieces of functional art that would encourage sitting rather than sleeping.

Councillor Dave Bryant said Government Avenue was one of the city’s most well known attractions and that there had recently been a strong call from the Company’s Garden steering committee to inject more vibrancy into the area.

He said some of the benches did not have a bar in the middle and therefore encouraged people, mostly vagrants, to lie down and sleep rather than sit.

“Also if you have someone falling asleep on the benches for a long time it means many other people can’t use that public space for a while,” Bryant said.

“By involving designers and artists in a collaborative process, public benches can become more than just furniture.

“By utilising creative inspiration and inventive design it is possible to create pieces of more functional art which can also help to create a safer and more vibrant environment in a public space like the Company’s Garden.”

The city has installed free wi-fi in the garden, allowing 100MB free per user, per day.

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