Planning for open streets in Cape Town

The busy hum of collaboration filled the Department of Design in Cape Town Wednesday night. The team at Open Streets Cape Town brought together citizens who share the belief that ‘Cape Town’s streets could be so much more’ for a workshop about the upcoming Open Streets events for 2014.

Based on the concept of Bogota’s ‘CiclovĂ­a,’ where every Sunday more than 2 million city dwellers ride their bicycles and skateboards through over 120 kilometres of road temporarily closed to cars for four hours, Open Streets Cape Town aims to “fundamentally change the city,” according to Marcela Guerrero Casas of Open Streets.

The organisation has already held Open Streets days in Observatory and Langa and will be adding new venues this year, including Woodstock and Muizenberg.

Here’s a video from the event last May.


Wednesday’s workshop brought together those who want to participate to share their ideas about various themes. These include: streets for mobility; safe and positive streets; streets for creative expression; streets for economic opportunity; streets for community-building; and re-designing streets.

Generating community-driven dialogue about what people actually want their streets to be ties nicely into the idea of ‘open streets.’ People at the workshop broke into groups to discuss their ideas and, judging by the number of post-it notes with scribbles on them left for the Open Streets team, came up with some useful ideas.

To see what transpires at the next Open Streets, or to get involved, visit

Image: breakaway session at Open Streets workshop Wednesday July 23, 2014. Cape Town. Brendon Bosworth.

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