The V&A Waterfront as workplace and leisure space for Capetonians

De Villiers, Rozitta Elizabeth Tercia (2016-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: According to a report compiled in 2012 by Projects for Public Spaces (PPS) on behalf of UN-Habitat, one third of the world's population resided in cities in the 1950s. This figure increased to 50% in the following half century and is predicted to be two thirds by 2050. The building of new skyscrapers and rapid urban development often causes urban communities' public spaces to disappear leading to more stressful living environments in crowded urban neighbourhoods. Such stressed communities often look for alternatives to fulfil their needs to interact in nature and in open spaces. One solution to this global challenge is the popular rise of urban waterfront developments that provide a link between water spaces and cities, creating multi-use destinations, which provide urban citizens with the public spaces they need to encourage public interaction and social cohesion. The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront (V&AW) in Cape Town, now 25 years old, consists of a variety of options for visiting retail, food and beverage, leisure, commercial and public spaces. Being the most visited destinations in South Africa in 2014 (according to South African Tourism), 60% of visitors to the property are Capetonians. Some 19 269 people are employed at the V&AW and it creates about 36 162 jobs in the Western Cape. The dilemma the V&AW faces is however that the major developments and investments that have regenerated the old commercial port area into an upmarket, mixed-use complex is perceived by many locals to be a playground for high-income earners and wealthy tourists where locals feel out of place. The variety of public spaces in the V&AW are seen by many Capetonians to be dysfunctional, and places they have no reason to visit. This research aimed to investigate and understand the role of the V&AW as a workplace and leisure space for Capetonians. A qualitative and quantitative questionnaire survey was conducted to determine the perceptions of local visitors and employees about the above issues and to identify ways to encourage them to take psychological ownership (attachment) of the property. The results highlighted four areas of concern. i) the non-affordability of activities, retail options, restaurants and parking; ii) the lack of parent-child activities, which include indoor options and options for various age groups, as well as child-friendly restaurant options; iii) the need to improve the public spaces by adding more greenery, benches and free Wi-Fi; and iv) adding more functional services and offerings for employees, for example ready-cooked meal options, exercise options and specialist retailers, like a hardware shop. The study makes recommendations for making the public spaces in the V&AW more functional and accessible; as well as the introduction of some retail, entertainment and service-related offerings to address the affordability issue; and encouraging more Capetonians to frequent the V&AW through these improvements. With urbanisation taking place at an unprecedented rate and waterfronts being catalysts for urban regeneration and job creation, the pressure are increasing for urban waterfront developments, like the V&AW, to create a destination for local visitors and employees that is functional to the community it serves and to create a link between the ocean and the city where locals feels welcome, have a sense of ownership and which ultimately leads to social cohesion while creating long-term public private partnership opportunities beneficial to the socio-economic upliftment in the community in which it is located.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Volgens 'n verslag van Projects for Public Spaces (PPS) saamgestel in 2012 vir UN-Habitat, was 'n derde van die wêreld se bevolking in die1950's reeds verstedelik. Gedurende die volgende 50 jaar het die getal vermeerder na tot die helfte en word daar voorspel dat dit twee derdes sal wees teen 2050. Die bou van nuwe toringblokke en vinnige stedelike ontwikkeling lei dikwels tot die verdwyning van gemeenskappe se stedelike openbare ruimtes wat weer lei tot stresvolle woonomgewings en oorbevolkte stedelike woongebiede. Sulke gespanne gemeenskappe soek dikwels na alternatiewe geleenthede om in aanraking te kom met die natuur en met mekaar in oop ruimtes. 'n Moontlike oplossing vir hierdie wêreldwye uitdaging is die toenemende gewildheid van stedelike waterfrontontwikkelings, wat as skakel tussen wateroppervlakke en stede dien. So word veeldoelige bestemmings geskep, wat stedelike inwoners van openbare ruimtes voorsien wat hulle nodig het om openbare interaksie en sosiale samehorigheid te bevorder. Die Victoria and Alfred Waterfront (V&AW) in Kaapstad bestaan reeds 25 jaar en beskik oor 'n verskeidenheid kleinhandel-, voedsel en drank, onstpannings, kommersiȅle en openbare ruimtes. As die bestemming wat in 2014 die meeste besoekers in Suid-Afrika gelok het (volgens Suid-Afrikaanse Toerisme), is 60% van alle besoekers aan die V&AW plaaslike inwoners. Daar is tans meer as 19 269 mense in die V&AW werksaam en dit skep ongeveer 36 162 werksgeleenthede in die Wes-Kaap. Die V&AW se dilemma is egter dat die ontwikkelings en beleggings daartoe gelei het dat die ou kommersiële hawe herontwikkel is tot 'n luukse, veeldoelige ontwikkeling wat beskou word as 'n speelplek vir die plaaslike rykes en welvarende toeriste waar die gewone Kapenaar vreemd voel. Die eiendom beskik tans oor 'n verskeidenheid openbare gebiede wat plaaslike inwoners nie almal funksioneel vind nie en daarom selfs voel dat daar geen rede is om daardie plekke te besoek nie. Die doel van die navorsing is om ondersoek in te stel en te verstaan wat die rol van die V&AW as werk- en speelplek vir Kapenaars is. 'n Kwalitatiewe en kwantitatiewe vraelysopname is onderneem om vas te stel wat Kapenaars se persepsie is rakende die bogenoemde kwessies en om maniere te vind hoe om hulle aan te moedig om emosionele eienaarskap (gehegtheid) van die V&AW te neem. Die resultate van die navorsing het vier sake beklemtoon: i) die nie-bekostigbaarheid van aktiwiteite, kleinhandelopsies, restaurante en parkering; ii) die gebrek aan ouer-kindaktiwiteite (wat binnenshuise opsies insluit vir verkillende ouderdomsgroepe) asook kindervriendelike restaurante; iii) die behoefte om die huidige openbare ruimtes te verbeter deur meer groenigheid, sit bankies en gratis Wi-Fi by te voeg; en iv) meer funksionele dienste en aanbiedinge vir werknemers, bv. klaargekookte etes, fiksheidsopsies, gespesialiseerde kleinhandel ondernemings, byvoorbeeld 'n ysterwarewinkel. Aanbevelings sluit voorstelle in oor hoe om die openbare ruimtes meer funksioneel en toeganklik te maak; die instel van sommige kleinhandel, vermaak en diensverwante aanbiedings om die kwessie van bekostigbaarheid aan te spreek; en Kapenaars deur hierdie verbeteringe aan te moedig om meer gereeld die V&AW te besoek. Met verstedeliking wat teen 'n ongekende koers plaasvind en waterfrontontwikkelings wat bekendheid verwerf as 'n katalisator vir stededlike regenerasie en werkskepping, is daar toenemende druk op stedelike waterfrontontwikkelings, soos die V&AW, om 'n bestemming vir plaaslike besoekers en die werknemers te skep wat funksioneel is vir die gemeenskap wat dit dien, en om 'n skakel tussen die stad en die see te skep waar plaaslike inwoners welkom voel, 'n gevoel van eienaarskap ervaar wat weer tot samehorigheid lei in die gemeenskap, met geleenthede vir openbare en private vennootskappe wat voordelig vir die langtermyn sosio-ekonomiese opheffing van plaaslike inwoners is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98689
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