Cape Town - Cape Town’s infamous unfinished freeways are a step closer to being more than just the butt of a long-standing joke or the set of a stunt movie or reality TV show.
If the City of Cape Town decides to take on the ideas of UCT engineering and architecture students, the two Foreshore freeways to nowhere could be turned into skate parks or rollercoasters.
In October 2012, the city and UCT signed an agreement of collaboration around the future of the Foreshore precinct and the infamous unfinished freeways. And at the City Hall on Monday night, an exhibition of ideas from 600 students opened.
Once the exhibition has closed UCT will hand all of the student work over to Transport for Cape Town for evaluation and adjudication. The work will be carefully considered by a range of professionals from across a number of disciplines who will also take into account the public feedback.
The incomplete freeways have recently been used to shoot stunts for reality TV show Fear Factor.
On Monday night, mayor Patricia de Lille said it was important to use Cape Town’s designation as World Design Capital as an opportunity to think differently.
“Young first-year engineers have lots of innovation and creativity.”
She added that the project was about engaging young minds and transforming them into creative processes early.
“It placed students in a position to understand projects local government undertakes.
“They had the opportunity to be innovative and think out of the box.
“After the exhibition the city can seriously consider the projects.”
De Lille said many cities in the US, as well as Helsinki (a former World Design Capital), had unfinished freeways too.
“We want the city to become a leader in showing the world what could be done with these freeways.”
The students’ ideas include planting trees on the incoming freeway, turning it into a skate park or even a rollercoaster.
Other ideas incorporate waterways into wasted spaces under bridges, and create a street arcade.
Mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron said the Foreshore was the most significant precinct in the city centre and had the potential to unlock enormous opportunities.
“Our partnership resulted in students of UCT’s engineering and built environment faculty working on creative concepts for the future of the unfinished freeways and the Foreshore precinct.
“We have been very excited about this collaboration and have lived with great anticipation of the kinds of proposal we would receive.”
UCT had curated the exhibition, which displayed samples of the work done by the students. It “is intended to stimulate discussions and debate about the future of the Foreshore precinct. We want this exhibition to encourage everyone to participate, especially our residents”.
The exhibition is open until April 25.
* The City’s Future Foreshore website is www.capetown.gov.za/FutureForeshore