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Design your own Long Street




Brighton New Road was transformed into a place for people by Danish urban designer Jan Gehl.

Brighton New Road was transformed into a place for people by Danish urban designer Jan Gehl. What might Long Street’s profile look like if we re-imagined it as a place for people rather than a road for cars?

The recent motion to pedestrianise Long Street has generated a lot of interest and discussion. It is still just an idea, and it is up to us as citizens to talk about it, and to provide input into what form the street may take that will best serve the city. The term pedestrianisation is somewhat loaded and misleading, as Long Street won’t necessarily become a pedestrian-only street (maybe it should, maybe it shouldn’t). There are many brilliant examples from around the world of car-centric streets being transformed into great place for people – just look at what has been done with Brighton New Road and Times Square.

A idea for a better Long Street, dragged and dropped together in just a few minutes using Streetmix.

A idea for a better Long Street, dragged and dropped together in just a few minutes using Streetmix.

Instead of waiting for urban designers to show us plans for how Long Street might look, let’s share our own ideas. Thankfully, there’s a great online app called Streetmix that we can use to do this. One can create a street profile in minutes by simply dragging and dropping. It gives you the option to adjust the street width and building height, and then add or remove a number of elements including car lanes, sidewalks, street trees, bike racks, or even parklets.

Take a few minutes to drag and drop a better Long Street, and then share it with a tweet ending in @futurecapetown #longstreet. The Future Cape Town team will share their favourite ideas at the end of October. As there are so many possible designs, create and share as many street profiles as you want, and don’t feel limited to Long Street either. Just consider how this tool can be used to re-imagine other streets in Cape Town, whether Adderley Street in the central city, Voortrekker Road in Bellville, or Main Street in Mfuleni. I’ve already started with one idea for Long Street and I’ll likely do many more. Head of over to Streetmix and get started.

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Gareth Pearson

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  • David Malan

    Cool app, I’m going to submit an option. But firstly how wide is Long st?

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  • David Bernhardi

    This is the way to go and the more cars are restricted the better. Trees, walkways, city gardens, buskers, artists, crafts people, open air markets – all supported by a good public transport system. Yup, the trends are there. Pity they did not start 25 years ago but at last we are moving towards a city for the people. Bland concrete parking garages serving the car, a magnificent public space such as the Grand Parade serving the car … Really? The Parade in particular is such an incredible opportunity to link City Hall, the Castle and the railway station in one grand and beautiful design with period lighting, paving, gardens, markets, entertainment and trees. trees trees… The facade of the station decks facing City Hall could so easily be transformed into something more than cold concrete. The possibilities are endless when you eliminate the car. The foreshore and the Duncan Dock area is another opportunity to be seized.