Cape Town's grand Urban Park plan sees dedicated skate and BMX hub take shape

2017-11-16 12:35 - Kavitha Pillay
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Photo: iStock

Cape Town - Adding another dimension of summer fun and chilled out vibes to the Mother City, Cape Town's Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) will soon commence with the construction of a skateboard facility in the Woodstock Town Hall precinct.

The new facility aims to "create a safe space for skateboarders to meet, practice, and hone their skills" and residents and skateboarders are invited to attend an open day to view the final design.

It forms part of a broad City of Cape Town master plan for a revitalised Urban Park, as designed and conceptualised during Cape Town's tenure as the World Design Capital in 2014. 

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"The proposal for the skateboard facility emerged as part of the World Design Capital co-design ward project in 2014, with the local community and skateboard fraternity participating in discussions about the revitalisation of the Woodstock Town Hall precinct," says the City of Cape Town

Plans for part of the historic District Six's Trafalgar Park have also been pegged as a family-friendly, community space. The 3-hectare park formally established in 1905 for the residents of District Six, mirrored the City's Company’s Garden at the time with flower beds, rose garden and a southern extension covered in pine trees extending across the lower slopes of Table Mountain. The overall development will include an adventure park, multi-sport precinct, visitors centre, restaurants, play areas, jogging and cycling tracks, outdoor gym, picnic areas, amphitheatre, terraces, bridges, planting areas, lighting and street furniture.  

INFOGRAPHIC: What Cape Town's NEW urban park will look like

City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron says they "have upgraded some of the infrastructure in the vicinity of the town hall" including paving areas such as sidewalks and pedestrian crossings, added parking bays and "gradually revitalising and uplifting this area" in addition to the construction of the skateboard facility.

The facility will be situated in the eastern side of the Woodstock Town Hall Park along Victoria Road, between Plein and Aberdeen Streets.

ALSO SEE: Woodstock's hip and funky green cycle route

The creative urban area of Woodstock boasts works of art around every corner - literally - as street art is a dominating display throughout the area. It oozes a laid-back and inviting vibe that makes the perfect backdrop for a skateboard facility - the ideal place to spend a summer evening just chilling.

Safe place for skateboarders

"The skateboarding fraternity in Woodstock was involved in determining the location of the site, the planning, and in design stages of the project," says Herron, adding "We were all very excited about the prospect of creating a safe place that skateboarders can call their own and where they can enjoy themselves." 

"The facility will be fenced off with ramps in three corners and a ramp with a hump will be constructed in the middle of the park.

"We have now completed the final design and are eager to share the layout with the local skateboarder community and residents," he adds.

The open day - where officials will share the maps, design, and information about the construction of the skateboard facility with the public - takes place on Wednesday, 22 November, from 14:00 to 19:00 at the Woodstock Community Hall in Victoria Road.

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According to the City of Cape Town, the "project is funded from the City’s capital budget and amounts to approximately R634 000".

Construction will commence in January 2018 and should be completed within three to four months, "pending any unforeseen challenges".

"I encourage residents and the local skateboarder community of Woodstock to attend the open day. The construction period is not long, but there will be limited parking at the town hall during this time, and the work will affect the traffic along Plein Street. We will have traffic controllers in the area, but I advise locals to come and see what we are planning," urges Herron.

Woodstock experiences

A hub for arts, culture and markets, Woodstock offers family-friendly experiences and an escape from bustling city life while only a stones-throw away from the CBD.

"Woodstock has, in the past five to ten years, given birth to a thriving arts community. With a number of prominent galleries and a design market in the area, the area attracts large amounts of visitors and artists. Many of these artists choose to make public art and are inspired by the Salt River and Woodstock communities," says the City of Cape Town.

"If you wander through Woodstock you can see a number of different murals and graffiti artworks honouring the families and individuals who live there, as well as our shared social and political history."

A popular spot is The Old Biscuit Mill which offers day and night markets, workshops, designer stores, farm stalls, restaurants and live music.

At The Old Biscuit Mill, one can also find HintHunt - a physical adventure game in which players are locked in a room and must solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints and strategy to free themselves.

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