Date of event:

5 June 2018

Aim of project and outcomes

A primary focus of the Greater Tygerberg Partnership’s urban transition programme is on the improvement and perception of an area.

The GTP intends to breathe life into public spaces in the Bellville CBD and create awareness of revitalization in the area by carrying out a series of activations aimed to promote the use of public spaces. This urban waterwise garden in Bellville is a collaboration with VRCID, MES Bellville, and GrowHow. It follows James Wilson and George Kelling’s “The Broken Window Theory” (1982) that attributes monitoring and maintaining an urban environment and makes them pleasant spaces where criminal and negative elements can be removed or minimized, while also enhancing Bellville’s public and open spaces.

Bellville has high daily foot traffic of thousands of people as reflected in various studies conducted by the GTP. As a result of the high influx of people and community growth, there exists a limited sense of pride, ownership and interest in the local environment. Unfortunately garden beds have fallen into a state of dilapidation and decay due to the limited resources and lack of regular maintenance.

The GTP has set out to change this by implementing an urban greening upgrade project in the Bellville CBD. The planting and revitalizing of the current gardens was created with water conservation in mind due to the scarcity of water as a natural resource resulting in plant varieties that thrive with minimal water selected. This objective is enabled through the abundant selection of beautiful indigenous plants which are naturally drought resistant and require little watering once established.

Objectives of the project
  • Improving local image of Bellville
  • Create opportunity to change behaviour (stop them from littering)
  • Promote interest in the local environment
  • Encouraging pride and ownership of public spaces
  • The project holds the potential to combat urban decay in an achievable and effective manner.
  • The project provided training, exposure, opportunity and experience which they are keen to use for their betterment in life. The project promoted sustainable development through the provision of income to the guys, enabling them meet their needs, paying shelter fees, food and clothing.
  • This primarily addressed poverty and improved the quality of life of the MES clients, who are poor, vulnerable and marginalised.
Brief description of project

The Greater Tygerberg Partnership identified seven urban garden beds in disrepair to upgrade and uplift in the Bellville CBD. The GTP are well aware that South Africa is a water stressed country, and the water resources are under tremendous pressure from a growing population, ongoing development, pollution, wetland destruction, alien invasive plants and the effects of global warming. As a result the aim is to not only re-energize the current gardens create waterwise gardens that require minimal water.

On Tuesday, 5 June 2018, The Greater Tygerberg Partnership initiated their Urban Water Wise Gardening Project for the re-planting of the seven gardens in collaboration with Paul Baker from GrowHow, MES, VRCID and together with volunteers. The gardens were replaced with more environment appropriate-and-friendly plants in addition to the removal of unsuitable plants and elements. Currently, these beds are home to a variety of herbal and succulent flora that are regularly checked-on, maintained and cleaned by the GTP, VRCID and the landscaper.

The plants selected are:

  • Resistant to water shortages and the cold and in some locations survivable to pedestrian trampling
  • Plants that can look after themselves and does not require daily attention
  • Plants that are impactful, colourful, evergreen foliage.
Location

C/o Blanckenberg Street and Cross Street, as well as on the c/o Kruskal Avenue and Cross Street.