The People’s Plan for Princess Vlei
- The Princess is developed to benefit both our communities and nature…
- We all help decide on how to make our vlei a precious asset for ourselves and our children…
For too long, people have been excluded from decisions about how our spaces should be used in our city, especially in less wealthy areas. When Kelvin Cochrane began with the rehabilitation project of Dressing the Princess, he would walk the banks of Princess Vlei and imagine something different there, something that would beautify the space and nurture both people and nature. Over the years, these dreams grew as more and more people joined the conversation about what they would like to see at Princess Vlei. We have spoken to pensioners, school children, nature lovers, historians, shopkeepers… people from all walks of life. As the ideas emerged, we put them together to form the People’s Plan.
But this plan is just the beginning of the conversation. Our dream for the Princess, as encapsulated in our proposal to the World Design Capital2014, is to enrich and extend this plan through workshops and discussions with all who have an interest in Princess Vlei. Once we have consolidated these ideas, we will work with landscape architects, design professionals and hopefully the City of Cape Town to develop and implement the plan.
Please Join this conversation, and send us your ideas.
Some suggestions for the People’s Plan are described below.
1. Cultural and environmental education centre
A place to learn about our history, our Khoisan heritage, our wetland ecology, and all the living plants and animals at Princess Vlei.
2. Historical Khoisan village
To honour our South Africa’s first people, and teach us how they lived
3. Open–air Sunset Concert Park
Where we can listen to concerts and performances before the exquisite backdrop of the Vlei framed by Table Mountain and Constantiaberg
4. Outdoor market
Where we can buy and sell locally produced goods, fresh vegetables and food.
5. Braai and picnic areas
Upgraded areas to enjoy braais and picnics with families
6. New play park for children
An eco-friendly sturdy play park where our children can get strong and healthy while having fun
Bridges so that pedestrians, cyclists and animals can cross the M5 motorway safely
8. Walkway around Princess Vlei
Where we can walk for approximately 7km around the Vlei, and enjoy picnic spots along the way
9. Dressing the Princess: Centre for rehabilitating our green spaces
To co-ordinate all our efforts to dress the Princess by planting fynbos and trees, preparing soil, and cleaning litter; and to help people restore and beautify other open spaces in our communities.
10. Hiking trail to Elephant’s Eye Cave
Start at the Princess Vlei, follow the waterways across our divided city and learn how people have shaped nature through history, then admire the magnificent view of the vlei from the Elephant’s Eye Cave.
11. Two day hiking Trail to Macassar Dunes
Explore the wetlands of the False Bay Ecology Park, enjoy the rich birdlife, spend a night in hostel or township B ’n B to see how different communities are getting involved in and benefiting from nature conservation.