Cape Town Without The Freeways | Sustainable Cities Collective
Cape Town’s Foreshore freeway strangles the city and cuts it (and its people) off from the Port and water’s edge. With a comparison to San Francisco’s Embarcadero, Gareth Pearsonquestions what would happen if we did away with the Foreshore section of Nelson Mandela Boulevard altogether.
When Capetonians talk about the freeway along the Foreshore, there’s a good chance it involves a joke about the mysterious unfinished sections. It’s not the unfinished sections that I care about, it’s the entire thing.
The footprint of the freeway as well as the land in between each section is wasted, restricting the development of this lifeless area of the city. There have been a number of interventions proposed, as mentioned some time back in a post by Andrew Boraine. More recently, the City of Cape Town, is proposing a 3 storey parking building to sit between the freeways, to support a new tower, as part of the Convention Centre expansion.
There is often talk of sinking the freeway below ground, a monstrous project not disimilar to Boston’s Big Dig. Sure, this is an option, as with any project it has its advantages and disadvantages. But what if the freeway was removed entirely? What if it was replaced with a tree-lined boulevard that accommodates public transport, bicycling, and walking?