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Cape Town Mulls Completing Foreshore Freeways

Industry News – The City of Cape Town has finalised plans to set in motion the potential completion of the controversial unfinished freeways on the foreshore of the CBD.

Tai Design Studio’s idea for the unfinished foreshore freeways.

The move comes after approximately four decades of the freeways standing incomplete. Having deteriorated over the years, they are widely considered to be an eyesore on the city landscape, and City Council have agreed that something must be done to attend to them.

They have decided to partner with the University of Cape Town, where Engineering and design students will assist with formulating ideas for their potential completion.  With Cape Town’s opportunity to take the world stage as World Design Capital 2014, it is hoped that a creative, attractive and innovative solution to the problem will be agreed upon. Reports state that “the students’ research will cover the economic, technical, structural and design viability of the potential completion of the freeway. It will also look at the investment and development potential, infrastructure capacity and a financial model for the completion of the freeway.” (IOL)

The partnership will officially be launched on 18 October, which will signal the start of Transport Month, and if all goes according to plan, it is hoped that formal planning will begin early next year. By August 2013, the City is hoping to go out to tender.

Over the years a number of informal proposals and design competitions have been held, such as that of Tai Design Studio proposal pictured above. Tai proposed that a section of the freeways be turned into a museum, which would act as a gateway into the city. Its neighbour would be turned into an inner-city solar farm.

Commercial Property Cape Town:

What impact will the completion of the foreshore freeways have on commercial property Cape Town? It is hard to say whether they will have any direct impact, but perhaps the most obvious question that springs to mind is the value of the land that the freeways would occupy. Foreshore land comes at a premium, with sites selling at extremely high prices compared to elsewhere in the CBD and the greater city. Demand for this land could become so high in future that it could be considered a waste for the city to build a freeway on it, but this is mere speculation. With future pockets of land due to be unlocked, such as Culemborg, and the amount of available space at present, there is no guarantee of this. The question also remains as to what impact the completion of the freeways would have on views and the general aesthetics of the city. It is hoped that the city will be able to formulate an attractive yet function plan for their completion, should it go ahead.