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Future Smart Reads, 16 Sep 2012




If you don’t know already, Creative Week Cape Town started yesterday and will be a week-long of user-generated/independent events around the city.

Check out the official website here for events you can join. What’s also been happening is the Architecture ZA 2012 Biennale which Future Cape Town is covering on Twitter and on this page.

Cape Town’s first little Parklet. This one’s based on Bree Street. This one will soon be joined by ones popping up in The Fringe District, Campsbay and as far as Houtbay.

So yeah, a busy week month (see our #MOD 2012 Month of Design 2012 page), but these were the stories, videos and links that made us think for a second this week:

CAPE TOWN: The week started off with this intriguing video interview with Anya van der Merwe of VDMMA Architects (think CTICC).

NEW YORK: The Lowline Park is getting more traction with an exhibit of their plans running this week. Basically, the Lowline will be an underground park (remember the Highline?). Untapped Cities’ Ben Huff wrote this interesting article about the project which also includes videos from the exhibit. Here’s even a nice Kickstarter video that you watch on the Lowline.

GLOBAL: You probably think that cities have become denser over the years? Wrong. Dr  Shlomo Angel spoke with Monocle’s Andrew Tuck on his research showing that many global cities had densities that peaked in 2010 and has declined since. The article also explains briefly why denser cities are necessarily better for the future.

TEXAS: North America’s largest single-floor library, an ex-Walmart store covering almost 2.5 rugby sized fields.

GLOBAL: If you missed it earlier in the week, here is that amazing video on oil and its effects on global economies. The video is beautifully designed and is so simple to understand.

SOUTH AFRICA: How’s that petrol price hike been? We discovered this cool little (flash) animation tool which explains where and to whom all the different parts of the price of petrol in South Africa goes to. South Africa desperately needs to become less depedent on  the global oil markets (if you looked at the video above) – we’re in for big shocks, especially with our poor uptake of a public transport culture.

CAPE TOWN: The City of Cape Town have announced plans of setting up a partnership with the University of Cape Town on figuring out what the future will be of the Foreshore Freeways. Students will be required (as part of their curriculum) to devise a sustainable plan. Hopefully this also include the option of completely demolishing them. What do you think should happen to the Foreshore Freeways?

LONDON: Plans have been released by London’s Mayor to study the viability of elevated bicycle lanes along heavily utilised corridors in the city. Many people this is a crazy idea – that there’s enough space on the roads as is and that better options (without elevated lanes) should be looked at. Will it kill the city like freeways did?

 

 




  • louwrens

    so in the same post, you mention the high line – an incredible public park created on a disused transport infrastructure – and say that you hope the unfinished highways can be demolished? what a waste

    • I love the Highline – it’s an amazing park and idea. However, the Highline doesn’t completely cut New York off from its ocean. Cape Town is ‘strangled’ by the freeways – a park will be wonderful, but why not just build a park and some Reclaim Camissa waterparks onto the area that will be freed up?

      Cape Town had an amazing pier in the old days – why not regenerate the Culemborg area, etc.?

      Have you seen this post by @TheSkillSmith’s http://futurecapetown.com/2012/05/cape-town-without-the-foreshore-freeways/

      • louwrens

        i agree about the highways being problematic, but as that post says, it’s not just the unfinished ones – nelson mandela boulevard cuts off the industrial harbour area, and the highway section between the CBD and greenpoint literally runs parallel to the unfinished highway (that’s how you can access it – it’s a pretty incredible place). it’s a feature of our highways in general – the n2 separates communities on the flats and the black river interchange separates the surrounding neighbourhoods from the river and wetlands. this project only involves the unfinished sections (in my understanding – your article mentions “a design brief to complete the unfinished highway”) rather than a rethink of the entire system, and demolishing just that portion will achieve nothing.

        i don’t mean to say this *has* to be the approach, i just think it’s a unique opportunity for a spatial intervention – appropriating infrastructural space as social, public, green space. a park (or as a friend of mine proposed in first year of archi school, a combination of recreation and agriculture) on a piece of highway would create a spatial experience – above and below – that cannot be found anywhere else in the city, or even the country. it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a completely unique urban space and a much more interesting idea, to me, than demolition and a blank slate. besides, it could be integrated into the urban fabric so that it connects rather than separates.

        on a separate note, i think it’s a great shame that the proposed project will be restricted to one class of EBE students, not open to other students (like those of us who graduate this year), professionals, artists or urbanists. you would get a much wider range of ideas that way as well as a wider engagement and discussion.