An excerpt from my writing at FutureCapeTown.com. Read the full article.
“Day Two was fact-intensive, but culminated in a truly memorable engagement with a new voice in Architecture for the Global South, Rahul Mehrotra. With large grounds of work covered today, many students and practitioners alike will undoubtedly be left with much to ponder as they rest after a hard day of learning.”
Henri Comrie, the man behind the Greenpoint Circle and WC2010 precinct, pointed out how these same Modernist principles have disconnected all Capetonians from the ocean. The Foreshore, it was said, was a shame and a mistake, but other cities, as Comrie pointed out, have overcome and even repaired similar challenges – Boston, for one, reconnected itself to the sea after decades.
Comrie developed his theme through a series of diagrams showing how completely the current Cape Town Station urban strategy funnels commuters into the hands of vested private interests (in the Golden Acre), rather than stimulating the city at grade. Part of Comrie’s answer to this has been to open up the Station concourse and restore real choice to commuters.
Alistair Rendall, the third panellist, deepened the theme of the Jacobs and Comrie by evoking a future for MyCiti and IRT in general that lay somewhere between the formal, clean, sterile first-world subway system and the minibus taxi system. He called for a uniquely African commuter experience, that included music, signage, art, education, infotainment and a new approach to signalling, such as the Variable Messaging System. Bogotá’s city transport system, in which both modes coexist and thrive, was hailed as an immediately applicable example from a middle-income country.