From top: Photographs by Bernard Bravenboer, Dook
I WAS BORN AND raised in Cape Town, and maybe that has something to do with my desire to improve the city for the future. When Cape Town was named host city for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the announcement brought about imme- diate plans for development and change. I realized the city needed to have sustainable development that Capetonians could make use of after the football (soccer) fans had all gone home. I started Future Cape Town as a Twitter account to encourage a dialogue about how the city would progress. Now it has become a non- profit that uses many different platforms—social media, tours, public forums, and exhibitions—to get people thinking about how design and urban development can help transform a city.
I recently moved to Three Anchor Bay, which is situated between the Sea Point and Green Point neighborhoods. Ten years ago, if someone mentioned this area you would immediately think of crime and drugs, but it has undergone a major revitalization. Today it feels very suburban and livable. Cape Town Stadium was originally built here for the World Cup. The building is iconic without trying to be iconic. In addition to hosting sporting events, it also brings in performers such as U2. A pathway called the Fan Walk stretches from Cape Quarter mall, in Green Point, to the stadium. Many people without tickets to events go to the Fan Walk to be part of the atmosphere. The land surrounding the stadium was redesigned and is now home to a popular park with bike paths and picnic areas.
This section of Cape Town is set along the beach. My favorite part is the Sea Point Prom- enade, a five-and-a-half kilometer pathway where locals walk and jog. After a long day of work, I like to blend in and feel like a tourist and walk the promenade. At one end is the candy-cane-striped Green Point Lighthouse, which dates to the early 1800s. There’s also a public outdoor swimming pool where hard- core locals swim year-round. On the weekends you’ll see groups playing football or cricket in the green spaces along the promenade or launching kayaks into the ocean from the beach.
I work from home and meet people for business at local cafés and restaurants. This is a very walkable area, and I am constantly discovering new places on my wanders. One of the city’s well-known sushi chefs has opened his own place here. I am just starting to get into sushi, and Andy’s Sushi Bar is fantastic but without the price tag of being in a trendy part of Cape Town. I also just found a new coffee shop called Bootlegger. Bootlegger draws a cool crowd, but it’s not filled with hipsters like you’d find downtown. I think openings like this one show a new confidence in the area. Most of the action still happens downtown, and I can hop on the bus at the St. Bedes stop and be there in five minutes. But I find I prefer to live near the sea and the green space.
This appeared in the June/July 2014 issue.
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