The City Walk will become a new addition to Cape Town’s multi-faceted central city experience when the route launches on Saturday 18 April 2015 at the first of what is to be a monthly event – City Walk Saturdays – from 10am to 2pm.
Cape Town’s CBD is an accessible and popular pedestrian zone for residents, office workers and visitors. This is why the Cape Town Partnership announced that it would be facilitating the enhancement of this experience through the City Walk – a community placemaking project in the heart of urban Cape Town – in November 2014.
Cities all over the world are now embracing the notion of multipurpose, liveable streets that prioritise pedestrians from young kids to the elderly and disabled, from headphone-wearing individuals to boisterous families, from joggers and performance artists to photographers and traders. The City Walk is a long-term project that is aimed at surfacing and enhancing what already happens in the CBD as well as adding a layer of regular activity to the space.
The City Walk connects significant places and offerings at the core of Cape Town’s city life, starting in the Company’s Gardens, continuing down St George’s Mall to Waterkant Street, and progressing up the Fan Walk to St Andrew’s Square. The district will be delineated through way-finding signs and supporter decals, and will feature public art, walking tours and retail offerings to bring these public spaces to life.
The Cape Town City Walk will seek similar energy to that which ignited happenings such as First Thursdays, Moonlight Mass and Open Streets by giving the citizens of the city a platform through which they can participate and contribute.
Unlike these events, the City Walk Cape Town is not limited to a specific date and time, although the monthly City Walk Saturday will act as a flagship to invite the public to proactively come into and celebrate their city. In addition, the route will be a test zone for extending business hours in the central city beyond daytime trade and boosting the district’s economic potential
Says Cape Town Partnership CEO Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana: “The Cape Town City Walk is not a complete work, nor does it belong to the Cape Town Partnership, we are just initiating and activating the idea. The streets of a city are the ultimate public unifier; the base unit of public space that belongs to every single citizen. We recognise that Cape Town still often presents its history in ways that many of its citizens don’t identify as their own.”
Makalima-Ngewana adds, “The City Walk will see us surfacing the different storylines to create a more inclusive city, acknowledging the important role that history and memory plays in the life of our city, and helping citizens to find spaces to share their own stories and interact with each other. In addition, we hope that this space will be a test zone for extending business hours in the central city and boosting the district’s economic potential.”
To celebrate the launch, Cape Town Partnership, @IGersCapeTown and @IGersSouthAfrica will host an Instawalk on 18 April during the inaugural City Walk Saturdays event. All Instagrammers from novice to pro are invited to join the #walkCapeTown Instawalk to explore the route and enjoy the various activities that will take place. The Instawalk starts at 11h00 on the lawn in front of the National Gallery in the Company’s Garden. The owner of the best photograph on the Instawalk will win an iPad Mini.
Capetonians and visitors will be able to experience the City Walk in a number of ways:
There are several guided walks through the city by tour guides. A number of them are free of charge. The facilitators of these tours have recognised the City Walk and will be including perspectives of the walk on their tours.
The Cape Town Partnership will also be developing a self-guided audio tour for download and will encourage other vested parties to do the same.
Clearly designed, informative maps will be placed at retailers, restaurants and points of interest all along the route, as well as at Cape Town Tourism.
Businesses along the route can collect free supporter branding from the Cape Town Partnership but will also be encouraged to come up with concepts that will add to the experience of the City Walk.
The Cape Town Partnership will be placing informative signage at various points of interest along the route. Citizens with knowledge of and interesting stories about places and people along the route, are invited to share these stories with the Cape Town Partnership.
The City Walk Cape Town will feature on social media through the hashtag #walkcapetown. The Cape Town City Walk joins an unofficial international collective of City Walks around the world. An Instawalk, in collaboration with Cape Town Partnership, @IGersCapeTown and @IGersSouthAfrica will take place on 18 March 2015 starting at 11h00 on the lawns outside the National Gallery in Cape Town’s Company’s Garden.
CITY WALK SATURDAYS
Capetonians are encouraged to gather their families, friends and community groups to participate in the City Walk Saturday events that will be happening once a month, rain or shine, from 10h00 to 14h00. The open event is free of charge and will see additional activations and entertainment happening along the route. Visitors can expect giant chess and board games, soccer friendlies, chalk painting, food stalls, jumping castles, street dancing, music, puppet shows, poetry performances, a mobile library as well as yoga. Cape Town residents who would like to contribute to this event should contact the Cape Town Partnership. The public can access the City Walk Saturdays event at any point along the route.
CONTRIBUTING TO THE WALK EXPERIENCE
The City Walk is a collaborative project facilitated by The Cape Town Partnership that invites input from all businesses and individuals who would like to make a contribution to the experience of the walk.
For more information follow the Cape Town Partnership on Twitter @ctpartnership on Facebook Cape Town Partnership, on Instagram as @CapeTownSoul on www.capetownpartnership.co.za or by calling 021 419 1881.
The City Walk Cape Town hashtag is #walkcapetown
See you there:)