Green Point Park, Cape Town

Green Point Park, Cape Town

It’s been many years since fynbos led one's eye up to Signal Hill. Lion's Head is on the right.

In established cities completely new parks of several hectares are rare, especially in high-functioning and topography-hugging cities like Cape Town. And yet, in 2010 Cape Town acquired a new and large park in an old neighbourhood. It stands to the west of the soccer stadium and its precinct, built for the 2010 soccer world cup. (Here is an aerial view of the newly established park, the coastline and the stadium precinct.)

It is a reclamation on many fronts: from wetlands, yacht races and cow pasture to dilapidated sports fields where gaggles of men awaited malicious opportunity.

The Green Point park has brought open-air recreation to an almost completely flat-living (flat = apartment) and affluent area. It has brought not only the hardscape and the landscape, but also ‘‘het ontwikkelen en genieten van bij uitstek stedelijke kwaliteiten zoals levendige straten, rijk geschakeerde ontmoetingsmogelijkheden en voorzieningen” (from De recreatieve stad, 1979).

‘‘Rijk geschakeerde ontmoetingsmogelijksheden” = richly-hued meeting possibilities (= plezierigheid).

A recreated and recreational corner of Cape Town - easily accessed from the city centre, and thus, theoretically, to all - because ‘‘in een werkelijk recreatieve stad voelt men zich plezierig”. And it seems that Cape Town would like its inhabitants to feel plezierig. >>