Tour Locations | Green Point Park
LOCATION 1 | Green Point Park
Philip: Welcome to the Green Point Park. You should have just entered the South Gate. To your right, on a column under the pergola, you’ll find a map of the entire precinct. It can also be read in braille, as careful attention has been paid to making the park a welcoming public space for all - it is wheel-chair friendly, dog-friendly and child-friendly. You’ll also notice four different-coloured bins nearby, to encourage visitors to dispose of refuse appropriately when they leave the park.
There is a handy bench under the pergola to your right. Take a seat for a minute, while I tell you a little about the development of the Green Point Park.
In the distance, you can’t help but notice the 55 000-seater Cape Town Stadium. Look at the curve of its roof. It’s concave, and this is an important detail when you see the stadium with Table Mountain in the background, because its lines don’t compete with the mountain’s famously flat top.
Facing the stadium, you have Signal Hill to your right – somewhat hidden by the trees. Hang-gliders launch from it and soar gently over the Atlantic Seaboard, almost overhead, before landing safely on the promenade that runs along the seafront to your left. The promenade is just past that row of apartments on the other side of the park.
The Green Point Park is the size of 15 soccer fields, more or less, and it’s only one part of the Green Point Common, which stretches from here to the Waterfront, on the other side of the stadium. The park was a part of Cape Town’s award-winning environmental program for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and is an important legacy of the event.
I'm Philip Todres, and through my association with Cape Town Green Map, I was peripherally involved in the city’s preparations for the World Cup.
I would like to introduce you to Peter van Heerden, Spatial Planner and Project Manager at the City of Cape Town. He was part of a technical team responsible for the design and implementation of the Green Point Urban Park and Stadium.
Peter, can you tell us what the space was like before preparations for the World Cup began?
Peter: The common was unconsolidated, with meaningless empty spaces that attracted crime. By unconsolidated, I mean that there was no structure that allowed for the space to be used effectively, and there was no sense of identity to hold all of its different parts together.
This was the first thing I looked at when I started on the concept plan.
Philip: So how did the opportunity to use the space better come about?
Peter: Hosting the FIFA Semi-Finals in Cape Town was the catalyst. The city secured enough funding to reconfigure the common. R578 million was spent on the urban park, and R4.2 billion was spent on the stadium as well as reconfiguring the precinct to accommodate it.
The park had one million visitors within a year of opening, and over weekends and public holidays it attracts between 7000 and 9000 people per day.
Philip: Let’s start walking now, and explore some of the design elements and destination points that give it its sense of identity. Up ahead, towards the stadium, you’ll see a walkway. Make your way over to that.
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