African liveability

Central City Partners Forum Launched

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“How do we turn Cape Town’s exceptional performance during the 2010 World Cup into the norm?”

This was one of the key challenges put forward by Cape Town Partnership CE Andrew Boraine at a meeting of the Central City Partners Forum on 23 August 2010.

“The World Cup was an exceptional experience for everyone who was in Cape Town. During that month a number of attitudinal shifts and great expectations took place,” Boraine told delegates.

“People came out of the World Cup thinking, for the first time, that the Central City is a great place to visit. That our public transport is OK. They came out thinking it is nice to walk the streets of the city, especially at night. That the city is safe, even for my family.

“We got that back time and time again.”

Boraine said the real question, going forward, is to “turn the exception of one month into the norm”.

“It’s normal to take public transport, to walk everywhere, and to be on the streets at night.”

“In a liveable city, it is normal to take public transport, as opposed to using a private vehicle. It is normal to walk everywhere. It is normal to be on the streets at night. That’s what a normal, liveable city is all about,” Boraine continued.

“We were able to achieve that during the World Cup – and people loved it. But that’s how it should be every day.”

Boraine paid tribute to the hard work put in by, among others, the City of Cape Town , the FIFA Local Organising Committee, and all the bodies in the Central Improvement District and the Cape Town Partnership who contributed to such a successful World Cup.

He said the formal host city review processes are under way. “We are contributing two reports – one on the Fan Walk, which we managed on behalf of the City, and one on what happened generally in the city. Those formal reports will be finished by the end of this month.

“We have also done a retail opinion survey which is now completed, and, as part of the review process, we will publish that.”

“We must manage the post-World Cup Blues”

Boraine said it is now necessary to manage the “great expectations” and the “post-World Cup blues”.

“People came into our towns and they saw the SAPS patrolling everywhere. But, the, day after the World Cup, they went back to their bases. The Central City Improvement District security is still in place, but it is not the same security we had during the World Cup. Then Metrorail went back to how they had always been. It’s not good enough.”

Reviewing the World Cup criteria

Boraine said that, in 2006, the Cape Town Partnership set up five key objectives as they started preparing for the World Cup.

These were:

  1. How to get citizens involved in the event. “It is no good having a big world event if the locals are not part of it”;
  2. How to provide an authentic experience for our visitors;
  3. How to make the event a success from a planning, organisation and logistics point of view;
  4. How to use the event to enhance Cape Town as a global brand, and how to leverage in order to ensure maximum branding and marketing benefit for the city;
  5. How to leave a lasting social economic legacy.

”It is all the above criteria which we will be reviewing,” Boraine said.

He said the first thing that must be reviewed is how the World Cup, as a whole, was put together in a connected, integrated way. “We must ask how did the events at the Stadium work in conjunction with the Fan Walk, public transport, accommodation, security, cleansing, decorating, lighting etc.”

“None of these functions can work in isolation. We need to ask ourselves, what were the weak links and what can we learn from this.”

“We must remind ourselves how well the event worked.”

Boraine continued: “It’s worth reminding ourselves just how well the event worked. Based on feedback from people and stakeholders, it worked very well. The Fan Fest alone attracted more than 560 000 visitors.

“The Fan Walk – which became an experience in its own right – was probably the highlight, according to the overwhelming feedback.

“There are probably not many people who didn’t, at some stage, take part in the Fan Walk. Many visitors felt that it was the highlight.

“Among other achievements of the World Cup period was that people discovered St Andrews Square and Prestwich Memorial – places which, previously, they would not have known about.

“The pedestrian bridge over Buitengracht meant that St Andrews Square became the centre of life, a halfway point.”

He said the World Cup also carved out a relationship between the Fan Walk and the shuttle transport system. “We showed that we can run a major stadium on the basis of a combination of walking, public transport and a park and ride facility.”

Among other achievements of the World Cup were improvements to the Metrorail service, an upgrade of the Cape Town Station, a public square at the station, and the bridges which join the CBD with Green Point and the Waterfront.

Boraine also heaped praise on the entertainment and the public art which prevailed in the Central City.

The new directional signage had also been a great success, as had the new signage describing the history of particular areas.

All the developments, combined, made for a huge paradigm shift

“All these developments led to paradigm shifts and challenged huge stereotypes. For instance, the global stereotype of Africa was challenged by our successful World Cup.

“More importantly, we have engendered a powerful sense of local self belief. We have realized that we can think big, that there are now new big things to think of and we mustn’t be shy of thinking them. We can work together, if we put our minds together – government and the private sector – and we can get things done, deliver on time and go beyond the “business-as-usual” way of thinking. There is no reason to slip back into the old way of thinking.”

“Events since the World Cup show what can be done”

Boraine said events since the World Cup, such as the March Against Xenophobia on the Fan Walk on 18 July 18, as well as the Ubuntu Festival, which saw people gravitating to the Central City on a Sunday, show what can be done “when we put our minds to it and carry on the 2010 traditions”.

He said the City has put in a bid for an important conference, The Conference of Parties ( COPS 17), which is one of the biggest conferences a city can host on the planet.

Three cities are bidding for it – Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. It will bring more than 35 000 delegates to the city for 12 days, as well as 10 000 journalists and NGO workers, and more than 100 heads of state. “We have put together a powerfuI bid. If we win, we will be working flat out in Cape Town’s Central City to ensure it is a success. May the best city win.”

  • Boraine said the Central City Partners Forum is based on the successful 2010 Partners Forum which took place for the two years leading up to the World Cup.

“Those who attended felt the forum was a good way of getting together to share ideas, trade information, raise issues and be informed about what is happening in the Central City.

“This is a continuation of that process. We will be having quarterly meetings of this nature. The next forum  is on 21 September at 15 on Orange.

Boraine said the Cape Town Partnership had sent out a questionnaire to people wanting to take part in the Central City Partners Forum asking what issues and developments they are interested in knowing about. The response was: The World Design Capital Bid, the Events Strategy, property trends, public space management, the Provincial Government Property Project and sustaining the Fan Walk.

Boraine said the Central City Development Strategy, published in 2001 to guide discussion and lead change in the Central City, is what still guides the work programme of the CTP.

“Two things have affected the evolution of the strategy: The recession, which has had an impact on private sector development in Cape Town, and  secondly, the 2010 World Cup.

“Now, we are in the process of relooking at the CCDS – at what has changed, what is still relevant, which priorities remain in place, and where we need to update it.

A copy of the CCDS is available on the CTP website Cape Town Partnership

IRT UPDATE

“We have a 15 to 20 year plan to transform to a public transport system we all dream of.”

These were the words of Gershwin Fortune, Manager of System Planning and Policy for the City of Cape Town, during an update on the IRT at the Central City Partners Forum on 23 August 2010.

Gershwin joined City Council consultant, Phillip Van Ryneveld in the IRT presentation.

In his presentation Van Ryneveld said the IRT system is now, in the post-World Cup period, at a significant stage. What is crucial now, he said, is to ensure the transport system aligns with the City Development Strategy.

“We brought services forward for the World Cup,which worked well, but there is now a hiatus between what we did for the World Cup and what services will start in February 2011.”

Van Ryneveld said the IRT combines a number of elements – a high-quality bus rapid transit, a network of pedestrian pathways and a closer integration with all public transport.

“It is crucial to remember this is not a BRT, but an integrated transport system. Integration with rail is vital. We must create a proper network across the metropolitan area of Cape Town.

Van Ryneveld said the first route envisaged, along the West Coast, is an area which is not supplied by rail at all. This route will line the West Coast up with the rest of the city’s rail networks.

He said the service in Cape Town will be made up of Trunk Services and Feeder Services, with pedestrian and cycle infrastructure. The Trunk Services will go along dedicated routes, while the Feeder Services will travel in mixed traffic.

“The new bus model supports the new system. The Trunk Services will be on dedicated lanes and will go, along dedicated lanes in the middle of the road, from major origins to major destinations on larger vehicles.

“These will have far less interference with ordinary traffic. Commuters will be able to use smart cards, which they show, as they board at the Trunk Stations,” Van Ryneveld said.

The Feeder Services will operate mainly in mixed traffic and can be compared with existing bus services – with smaller buses, and travelling mainly in mixed traffic.

He said safety and security will be paramount in the new system. Trunk Stations will be monitored by security cameras, and security guards will contribute to safety.

IRT fares will be operated on a similar basis to those currently charged. There will be cheaper fares off peak times, with prices from R4 to R16.

New technology, in the form of electronic smart cards, will allow transfers between routes on a single fare.

There will be smooth processing of large numbers of passengers. The cards will be sold at stations and retail outlets.

Industry transformation is an important part of the new system, bringing in taxi associations and bus companies.

Van Ryneveld said programmes of this sort are increasingly popular internationally and can be incorporated into existing city road systems. He said the  programme is associated with the national policy to devolve public transport responsibility to cities.

Gershwin Fortune presented the city-wide rollout plan in terms of the IRT, before zooming in on the Phase One roll-out and the inner-city rollout plan.

He said the roll-out of the entire project would be a 15 to 20 year plan. This would result in a sustainable transport system that moves people effectively and efficiently.

“The IRT is a tool to achieve that.”

“We have a 15 to 20 year plan to transform to a public transport system we all dream of.”

Fortune said the plan has been split into four phases.

“Phase One, which we have titled Pilot Project (the West Coast project), Phase Two, which is where most public transport users are, Phase Three (the south-eastern metro) and phase four (Bellville, Durbanville).

The planners had chosen to begin with the West Coast project because there is no dedicated public transport service for West Coast users. Additionally, there is major congestion along the R27. Lastly, the planners would like to use Phase One as a learning Curve.

“Phase Two is where we really want to go. Phase One is our learning curve, to understand the animal of BRT,”

Phase One would go on till September 2013, with the second phase going from 2014 until 2018.

The transport system should be completed by between 2025 or 2030.

Fortune said, during Phase One, in terms of vehicles using the roads, there will be two types of Trunk Vehicles – 18-metre articulated vehicles and 12-metre standard vehicles.

Feeder vehicles will be less than 10-metres. The specs have still to be finalized.

Fortune said comments from Forum Partners on envisaged routes are welcome.

For more details on proposed routes and milestone goals, see the Cape Town Partnership website.

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