We invited members of the community and all Capetonians to join us in reimagining streets (Eisleben Road, in this case) as shared public space. And it was a huge success!
Having just one day for residents to use their streets as a safe place to cycle, walk, play and interact is essential because it reminds us that the streets are ours.
It is also a reminder that our typical use of streets – primarily for cars – is a direct legacy of apartheid. Not only did apartheid planners divide communities with highways and roads, they also ensured that the only people who would effectively be able to travel around the city were those who owned cars.
Over 20 years later, Cape Town and its streets still cater predominantly to car owners. If we are to demand a more equitable city, we must demand for our streets to be returned to communities.
Eisleben Road on Sunday was a glimpse of what we could achieve. And even Mayor Patricia de Lille said she’d like to see Open Streets take place monthly, if not weekly, in Mitchells Plain! After five years of hosting Open Streets Days across Cape Town, we are truly getting somewhere.
If you missed out this Sunday, check out this account by friend of Open Streets Shaun Engel.
Or view our photo album here.