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  • Streets that “embody respect”?
    We sat in a formal board-room table overlooking central Cape Town just before Christmas of 2012. We were a small, enthusiastic bunch of street geeks (some of whom went on to set up Open Streets Cape […]
  • Taking back ConTROLL
    Picture courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York I was trolled. Not in a viral storm kind of way but in a sneaky, manipulative and semi-public kind of way. It triggered a primal response to go […]
  • “…everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted”.
    What difference does it make? This is the burning question I’m facing at the moment – in project proposals, in fundraising conferences, in organisational discussions. The call for […]
  • Mommy PhD: The unresolved childhood theory (2)
      Dark anger about injustice regarding freedom of movement, especially for children, definitely motivated my PhD and its focus. On the flip side, so did joy. Some of my own happiest childhood […]
  • Four truths about roads and ‘unfinished’ freeways
    Some years ago exasperated Professor of Transport Policy, Phil Goodwin took to the stage for his inaugural lecture at the University College London, with a lecture memorably titled, Solving […]
  • ‘Unfinished’ Foreshore Freeways – An unexpected monument to struggle?
      It’s almost fifty years since construction on the ‘unfinished’ foreshore freeways in Cape Town started. For most of the 1940s and 1950s the foreshore was a windswept, bleak sandy wasteland […]
  • Small is beautiful: on NMT infrastructure
      “Without large and expensive investments for public (mass) transport or situations such as the cycle lanes in Rosebank/Rondebosch, what other options exist for promoting non-motorised […]
  • The catastrophic consequences of demolishing freeways. Not.
    There has been an air of impossibility surrounding discussions about the Foreshore and catastrophizing about the traffic chaos which ‘will’ ensue. (Catastrophizing which, by the way, should be taken […]
  • On PhD humiliation: letter to a friend
    Hi Beth, It was good to see you yesterday, although you did seem out-of-sorts and, as you said yourself: shattered. As I sat there I was quite torn. On the one hand you were asking for my thoughts […]
  • Cape Town 2050?
    What, I was asked, did I think that Cape Town would be like in 2050? My mind immediately jumped to a 1962 edition of The Star newspaper giving future predictions for Johannesburg by ex-president of […]
  • Parents, pangs and walking to school
    There’s something aching beautiful about the sight of young children walking, cycling or scooting to school. Hair flaying, rosy cheeks, eager faces…there are few parents whose heart […]
  • God-tricks and the Foreshore
    It has been seventy years – a lifetime – since the first models for the Foreshore were presented to the Cape Town public. The 1947 model proved to be surprisingly resilient, even if the […]
  • Freeways: who decides what’s re-presented?
    The Foreshore Freeways have been controversial from the outset. As the Long Street extension to Culemborg section was being built in the early 1970s the National Monuments Council unleashed an attack […]
  • Freeways and “as-built” bias: elevated, depressed or something else?
    Citylift’s proposition for the Foreshore – a built earthwork ‘berm’ to replace the existing foreshore freeways, with buildings elevated, and cars hidden – looks radical at first glance. […]
  • “Lean and elegant”: The poetics of freeway building
    “Our proposal starts”, said one of the Foreshore bids “by re-arranging and completing the elevated freeways in a lean and elegant way, thereby resolving the key traffic bottlenecks and improving […]
  • Low carbon transport part 3: allocate public road space democratically
    Here’s a picture of a democracy of space in action. It’s a picture of what happens when public space on roads is democratically allocated on a same-space-per-person basis. The fifteen […]
  • ‘Unfinished’ Foreshore Freeways – Let’s start with a clear brief
    The morning of Tuesday 21 June – I’m listening intently to the Mayor and Mayco Member for Transport, Councillor Brett Herron talking about proposals for the foreshore precinct. It’s rather […]
  • From Sea to Mountain: time to re-frame the City?
    One of the more visionary elements in the current Foreshore Proposals is the ‘eye’ which would frame a view of Table Mountain from the harbour-side and create an iconic picture, […]
  • Five ‘take-homes’ from a Masterclass on Transport Justice
    Karel Marten’s recent University of Cape Town Masterclass  on Transport Justice was full of worthwhile justice philosophy fodder. However, the five significant ‘take-homes’ asked for something closer […]
  • Traffic impact assessments: four brainworms that refuse to go away
    How can we work, through transport impact assessments (TIAs), towards a better city? How can we do this when the inherited toolkit for TIAs is outdated, the City bureaucracy is stretched and design […]
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