Open Streets brings people together

Open Streets 01Capetonians make the streets of Observatory their own for a day. (Image: Rory Williams)

In 2012 Cape Town joined Open Streets, a global movement whereby streets are shut off to traffic to make way for a range of fun activities like football, karting, cycling and yoga amongst many others. The movement aims to create a sense of unity amongst people in the neighbourhood and broader community.

This wide range of activities ensured that everybody taking part could join in on the fun.

Streets 5participants take part in a range of fun activities like football, karting, cycling and yoga amongst many others. (Image: Open Streets Cape Town, via Facebook)

The Open Streets concept is by no means a new one, having started in Bogota Colombia in the mid-1970s. In 2007, Marcela Guerrero Casas brought the concept to South Africa after moving from Bogota. “I saw the potential of Open Streets in Cape Town, and wanted to bring something good from my hometown to my new home,” said Guerrero Casas.

Its main aim is to create platforms for people in the area to get to know each other, forging strong bonds within the community and help develop social cohesion. “The philosophy is to transform the way we experience streets,” she said. “It allows us to see streets as more than just transport thoroughfares.”

Streets 4The Open Streets concept is by no means a new one, having started in Bogota Colombia in the mid-1970s.

Grant Pascoe, Cape Town’s head of tourism, events and marketing, said that as part of an innovative city “the hope is that this will grow into an iconic event”.

Streets 3The initiative’s main aim is to create platforms for people in the area to get to know each other, forging strong bonds within the community and help develop social cohesion.

GET INVOLVED

For those who want to join in on the fun or play a part to help Open Streets make a positive impact on communities around Cape Town, you can have a look at the get involved page on their website.

The initiative offers you numerous ways to get in on the action. You can volunteer to plan and execute the next Open Streets Day. You can also donate funds or register as a task team member to help run the movement.

PLAY YOUR PART

Are you playing your part to help improve the lives of those around you or the environment? Do you know of anyone who has gone out of their way to help improve South Africa and its people?

If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.