Friday, 27 May
09 Nov 2021
In principle, Heritage Western Cape (HWC) has assessed the proposed MyCiTi W6 road infrastructure project (which forms part of the Phase 2A rollout) “positively”.
In a meeting held via Microsoft Teams on Wednesday 20 October, the Impact Assessment Committee (IACOM) of HWC stated that it had resolved to endorse the proposal’s heritage indicators and conceptual layout in principle, “but required further design development in detail, following an urban design and place-making approach, as per the recommendations contained in the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) report.”
The W6 project will entail turning the existing Main Road in Wynberg into a south-bound one-way and constructing a new northbound one-way to its west by joining various existing roads with new portions, some of which will require demolitions.
The combined new roadways of the W6 will approximately stretch over 2,95 km.
Roads affected will include M4 Wynberg Main Road, Brodie Road, and portions of Church Street, Maynard Road, Glaren Road, Millbank Road, Piers Road, Egglestone Road, Benjamin Road, Wellington Road, Tenby Road, Langley Road, Wilson Road, Malton Road, Kemms Road, Dinsley Road and Waterbury Road.
Last year, the City of Cape Town’s Transport Directorate submitted a notification to HWC of their intention to develop the proposed MyCiTi routes in the Wynberg central business district.
Luthando Tyhalibongo, the City’s spokesperson, explains HWC required that a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) be undertaken, which included a social impact assessment, an urban design assessment, an architectural analysis of the structures identified for demolition; and public consultation.
An independent heritage consultant was appointed to do the assessment; and the public participation process took place from 19 July to 20 August. These comments were included in the final report to HWC and formed the basis of IACOM’s decision on Wednesday, along with a site visit done by committee members earlier that month.
The minutes went on to say that the recommended solution to the proposal is an “urban design-led solution” and that further submission to HWC was required once the additional urban design studies had been completed. HWC also required that urban design recommendations are implemented, and that further studies were commissioned to prepare detailed designs for a later submission to HWC.
According to the urban design assessment submitted as part of the HIA, more and refined urban design elements were needed. For example, significantly increased public environment and upgrades to walking and cycling facilities, with improved public open spaces.
The above also included “care to avoid the erosion or loss of streetscapes and heritage structures in the development of the new roads; to ensure the location and general design of stations and so on have as little impact as possible on the historic character; and to use the new infrastructure to commemorate and interpret the history of the area”.
It also asked for landmark buildings and mature trees to be retained as far as possible, and to plant trees on sites and within road reserves, to include street furniture and amenities for pedestrians, and to use bus stops as an element of place-making.
Tyhalibongo says the City fully supports and welcomes HWC’s findings.
“These will add to the experience of Wynberg, and will complement the investment in transport-related infrastructure to create a sense of place in Wynberg, to amplify the heritage qualities and unique characteristic of Wynberg and to, overall, enhance the suburb for the greater public good,” he says.
But will there be enough money in the kitty to pay for all of these “refined urban design elements”?
This was one of the main questions asked by stakeholders listening in on Wednesday’s meeting.
The City will be spending R7,4 billion on the implementation of the whole of the MyCiTi Phase 2A project.
This includes not only the infrastructure such as roads, stops, and stations in Wynberg, Claremont, Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha, but also the assets such as the buses, and so forth, for the service to be operational.
“All of the expenditure on this rollout must be accommodated within the allocated budget of R7,4 billion,” Tyhalibongo says.
The City aims to undertake a public engagement process late next year. “In areas where stops will be established, the public will be requested to provide input on these locations. Businesses and other groupings will be invited to request briefing sessions to understand the construction and how the service will operate,” he concludes.
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Friday, 27 May