What are "Open Streets Days"?
Open Streets is a 40-year-old global movement inspired largely by Ciclovía in Bogotá. Every Sunday and public holiday between 07h00 and 14h00, 120km of streets go car-free in Colombia’s capital city. On average, 1.5 million people (over 10% of the city’s population) step outside to enjoy the space.
Over 400 cities, on almost every continent, have joined the movement with their own Ciclovía-inspired programmes. Open Streets Cape Town is taking the lead in Africa.
Streets are large areas of public space. Reimagining them as places for people to meet, interact and play shows how a city can be more socially integrated.
View our manifesto to see more on our vision for streets.
Since 2013, we have hosted 12 Open Streets Days in five parts of Cape Town, attracting between 3 000 and 15 000 participants at each one. To date, we have done this by engaging with the authorities to fulfil the regulatory requirements for putting a road closure in place. We have also organised the logistics of each Open Streets Day and engaged local communities to get involved.
Besides encouraging people to come along and simply enjoy a car-free street, we have mobilised various groups to host activities on the day. These have included music, art, interactive workshops, dancing, yoga, chess and lots of sports and games.
Ultimately, we’d like communities to take ownership of the concept and inspire open streets far and wide!
For more info on what it takes to organise an Open Streets Day, check out our Open Streets Toolkit.