The PLAYscapes competition saw various cities around the world competing for the most creative and restorative use of space through design. The competition allowed the City to showcase its own design potential, especially ahead of assuming the title of World Design Capital for 2014.
“Unsafe or dysfunctional spaces are a serious concern for the City and we are pleased to showcase just how these public spaces can be made safe and recreational for the people of Cape Town through design. The space under the Mill Street bridge was one such space but has now been turned into a skate park and transport hub in the city.
“One of the principles of ‘Crime Prevention through Environmental Design’ promoted through the City’s Quality Public Space programme is to bring dignity and activity into public space through design. With this in mind, the City saw an opportunity to creatively introduce everyday life functions to ‘activate’ the neglected space under the Mill Street bridge in the planning of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in the CBD which is why a station has been built there,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Garreth Bloor.
The project, known as the Gardens Skate Park, emerges from this work as an initiative that can complement the BRT station and serve to demonstrate how the City can realise the World Design Capital theme “Live Design, Transform Lives”.
In April this year, the international PLAYscapes competition sought to find which world city is the most fun – London, New York City, Buenos Aires, Bangkok, Moscow, or Cape Town. To answer the question, they asked professional and student architects as well as designers from cities around the world to propose ideas which encouraged public interaction and turned redundant city spaces into fun creative places or transformed a neglected forgotten part of the city into a fun ‘playscape’. The competition aimed to encourage and reward design excellence at a small scale which integrates function, structure, details and the needs of those living in urban areas. Over 500 registered entrants took part and the jury panel included representatives from Building Trust International, Project for Public Spaces, BMW Guggenheim Lab, Landscape Architects Network, 3Space, Neon Stash, Land8 as well as academics and professionals from the fields of architecture and landscape design.
The City of Cape Town proudly submitted the Gardens Skate Park design to the competition in order to show how creatively we can transform negative space in our city into a fun place with opportunities for interaction and play.
Councillor Garreth Bloor congratulated the project team which comprised Gerrit Strydom, Lwandile Gcume and Aline Cremon from the City of Cape Town; Errol van Amsterdam and Marvin Fester from C2C Consulting Engineers; with Skate Park design by Clive Crofton of Spyda Ramps.
“This impeccable show of the talent that lies within the City of Cape Town proves that Cape Town is a world-class city in which people can work, stay and play. We look forward to the display of more ideas that will transform the city through design at the World design Capital next year,” said Councillor Bloor.