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City's Grand Parade upgrade in full swing

by Martin Pollack
on 10 Jul 2008
City of Cape Town
City of Cape Town

The R21 million upgrade of South Africa's oldest public space, the Grand Parade, has officially begun and Capetonians can look forward to having a significantly improved multi-functional venue at their disposal by April next year.

According to Geoff Duffel-Canham, of the City of Cape Town's Spatial Planning and Urban Design Department, the contractor has already started work.

"The first component of the upgrade will be the installation of the technical and electrical infrastructure needed for big events," said Geoff. "Thereafter, the entire area will be resurfaced with a brick paver. The bulk of the paving will be in a sandstone colour broken up by a contrasting grid pattern of light burgundy and charcoal. These colours have been selected to match the sandstone hues that are prevalent in the City Hall so as to integrate the building with the square in front of it." Geoff said that a full time archaeologist is an integral part of the contract team because of the Parade's historical significance.

The third component of the upgrade will be improved lighting to enhance security at night. The high mast lighting will be replaced with less intrusive but brighter, medium mast lighting. The lighting in the surrounding streets will also be improved and feature lighting will be added to the periphery.

Geoff said two rows of 4m-high stone pines will be planted around the perimeter of the square as soon as construction is complete. This species was chosen because historical photographs show that they have always been planted here.

"Stone pines also have a tall, slender trunk that will not restrict the views of the City Hall, Castle and Table Mountain." Existing trees will be transplanted elsewhere in the city. Newly designed benches, rubbish bins and other facilities will add both colour and convenience to the area.

During the construction phase of the project, parking will not be allowed for safety reasons, to obviate potential public liability litigation and also to prevent inconvenience to the traders.

The upgraded Grand Parade will have parking for 200 cars from Mondays to Sundays. To accommodate the market, an additional 100 cars will be allowed to park on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The final two phases of this development will begin after July 2010.

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