17 May 2021
Green Point Park is an outstanding urban oasis with a diverse range of delights for all to enjoy. And this triumphant World Cup legacy just keeps growing.
For the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the City of Cape Town redeveloped Green Point common. A central component of this World Cup legacy project was Green Point Park. Having celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2020, this urban oasis is a firm favourite among Capetonians and visitors alike.
Creating a 12,5-ha oasis to meet all Capetonians’ recreational needs was an ambitious undertaking, and initially faced more than its fair share of obstacles. These included a number of objections from residents and rights-holders of areas on what was then known as Green Point common (read the history here). But the City persevered, and overcame the hurdles through numerous inclusive public participation processes. Eventually, Green Point Park got the green light and, ten years on, has grown into an appealing, highly successful urban green space. In fact, since 2011, the number of visitors to the park has averaged around 830 000 a year, peaking at more than 1,1 million in 2017. And while the Covid-19 pandemic and national lockdown have seen numbers drop in 2020 and the start of 2021, visitor levels are sure to rise again as the vaccine roll-out gets under way and lockdown restrictions are eased.
What makes Green Point Park one of Cape Town’s most popular attractions is the sheer variety this fantastic community space offers (see park map below). Visitors are spoilt for choice with anything from an outdoor gym, walking and jogging tracks, and inviting relaxation or picnic areas, to adventure and kids’ play parks, a fun labyrinth, an amphitheatre, stunning wetlands and biodiversity gardens, and – the latest exciting addition – the Experiential Education Garden. Yet, while the park is all about enhancing the lives of those who visit and enjoy it, its value extends much further. Firstly, the management, maintenance and upkeep of the park requires a workforce of approximately 30, including security staff, landscape technicians, cleaners and administrators, and a network of contracted service providers. To them, the park is a job creator and supports their livelihood. In addition, Green Point Park has undeniably breathed new life into what was previously a derelict and unappealing common area.
“Indeed, Green Point Park is a great example of the value that a municipality can add to its citizens through a combination of good planning, effective management, adequate budget and the strong support of council members,” says park manager Richard Mathieson from Economic Opportunities and Asset Management.
Subject to the prevailing Covid-19 regulations, the park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Security guards are on duty, and entrance is free. And there’s even more to come. Plans are under way to add art ﬁxtures, cultural events, music concerts and immersive multimedia education to the park’s offering. So, if you haven’t experienced the joy of Green Point Park, round up the family, pack a picnic and discover what it has to offer. Fresh air and fun guaranteed.
Urban parks and commons such as Green Point Park are much more than just welcome green spaces amidst a concrete jungle. They add real value to our lives and make our cities environmentally and socially resilient. Here’s how: