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The City of Cape Town is excited to announce that the R15 million development of its new smart park in Mfuleni is well under way. With the final plan for the park being approved earlier this year, the contract to construct the park was recently awarded to Ilizwe Civils who will start work on the site this November. Read more below:

Following a public participation process in 2012, the City found that there was strong support for the planned upgrade of the Mfuleni park. As such, planning began for the Mfuleni Smart Park.

The construction of the smart park should take approximately 12 months to complete. The contractor will begin by demolishing the water tower and undertaking bulk earthworks for the remainder of this year, with more intensive construction commencing in January and the completion date being December 2017 if all goes according to plan.‘The City has in the last number of years implemented a Smart Parks Programme that promotes improved community-led park development in areas of highest need. Our thinking with the smart parks centres on getting the basics right and providing high quality, attractive park facilities that are both structurally sound and creatively designed.

‘Following the valuable input received from the Mfuleni community last year, we look forward to continuing engagement with local residents in the new year, especially around the design and location of the public art for the park,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Johan van der Merwe.

‘Smart parks are designed with communities in mind to cater for both young and old. Each smart park is unique in its design to suit the available space and the respective community’s interests and requests. This is what sets smart parks apart from other play parks. The concept is aimed at providing for inclusivity, social interaction and the integration of communities,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services, Councillor Anda Ntsodo.

The need for a new park in Mfuleni emerged through the Mfuleni Urban Node Project that started in 2012 and that was developed together with the community. A Project Steering Committee (PSC) representing local community structures was elected and provided direction and input into the precinct plan. Once funding for the park had been secured, a new PSC was elected and continued to provide direction on the detail design of the park that is currently under construction.

Big changes will take place, including removing the existing dune and water tower to allow for direct views into the park for improved safety, and at the same time creating a site for a future clinic. The existing fence that encloses the sports facility will be moved back to create more space for the park, while a new cricket pitch and borehole irrigation system will be installed in the sports complex. These are only a few of the features that will change this community space drastically.

Other plans for the park which community members can look forward to include:
· Rehabilitating, resurfacing and fencing the existing five-a-side pitches
· A new fence around the entire park, with gates at major entry points
· Public art at the main pedestrian entrance
· New pathways along the main routes
· A new splash pad (interactive water feature)
· New outdoor gym equipment
· A new children’s play area with rubberised matting
· A new multi-purpose lawn/recreational area
· Braai facilities
· Benches and lapa areas
· An outdoor amphitheatre
· New trees and soft landscaping
· An automated irrigation system
· Seating
· New lighting

The Mfuleni Smart Park has been driven by the City’s Spatial Planning and Urban Design (SPUD) Department as this project flowed naturally out of the Local Area Planning Initiative and Urban Node Project that started in 2012. In so doing and using its own capital budget, SPUD has worked together with City Parks, the local community and other key stakeholders to create a new City asset that will be managed by the City Parks Department.

‘Apart from the park, which is our current capital investment in Mfuleni, I think that this is a perfect example of local area-based planning, which ultimately results in developments that are adapted to the specific needs of a community, thus making it more sustainable and worthwhile for all,’ said Councillor Van der Merwe.

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