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Chapel Street Upgrade Project Initiated

District Six is a neighbourhood in Cape Town marked by a fragmented community and a visible scar in the landscape. This stems from the neighborhood being subjected to Apartheid planning regimes during the apartheid period in South Africa, resulting in the forced removal of residents and the demolition of homes throughout the entire neighbourhood in 1968. Any future planning for the area should be undertaken with sensitivity and inclusivity, taking into consideration the needs and perspectives of the multicultural community members.

The Chapel Street Upgrade project was initiated by the City of Cape Town, Urban Planning and Design Department, based on the recommendations and findings of the District Six Public Realm Strategy Project, completed in 2022, with the goal of implementing positive interventions within the public realm of Chapel Street.

Terra+ Landscape Architects were and are the appointed Landscape Architect for both the Public Realm Strategy project (completed) and the ongoing Chapel Street Upgrade Project. Terra+ Landscape Architects are part of a larger multidisciplinary team of professionals from the CoCT relevant departments, along with Jakupa Architects and Urban Designers, HHO Consulting Engineers, Rennie | Scurr | Adendorff Heritage, Cape Herstorian.

The Chapel Street Upgrade project focuses on implementing one of the projects that was identified in the Public Realm Strategy. It operates alongside other processes such as the National Government Housing Programme and the City of Cape Town’s Local Spatial Development Framework. The project aims to enhance the experience of Chapel Street and support the vibrant urban space it serves within the neighbourhood.

The project considers Chapel Street holistically, as the central spine of an existing community, linking from Trafalgar Park through the remaining portion of District Six to the new restitution areas and the Cape Peninsula Institute of Technology.

The design is centred on the community and primary pedestrian users of the street, addressing the greater Cape Town simultaneously. The design ideas revolve around street safety, creating a pedestrian-focused, green, safe, and inclusive space. These objectives are achieved by widening pavements, narrowing the vehicular portion of the street, introducing textures to surfaces, and adding street avenue trees. The design incorporates an accumulation of principles, elements, and strategies to empathetically and practically create a sense of place within Chapel Street.

As Landscape Architects, we look at the street as a whole, closely collaborating with professionals from other disciplines and incorporating a strong public participation component. We design and manage natural and built environments, applying important information from other professionals and best current practice urban landscape design principles to address human comfort and ecological sustainability, quality, and health of the street, collective memory, heritage, and culture. We deal with the interactions between natural and cultural ecosystems, adapting and mitigating climate change, improving socio-economic conditions, and creating places that anticipate social and economic well-being.

CHAPEL ST PROJECT
Starting date: 20 October 2022 – Project Initiation meeting
Ongoing
Provisional completion date: January 2026.

Published on March 13, 2024

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