Blog – Public spaces

Public spaces – Blog

Nurturing positive social interactions and safety through mindful and inclusive public spaces

09 Nov 2018 | by Diana Sanchez-Betancourt | Open Streets, HSRC, Ncedo Mngqibisa | Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI)| University of Cape Town

South African cities need to invest in public spaces that are truly co-created through social engineering processes. These need to be grounded in quality community participation processes which begin at the conception of the project, carries on when the project is handed over, and continues in different ways to ensure ownership and positive social activation of these spaces.

Read more

The state of commuter safety in Metrorail

01 Nov 2018 | by #UniteBehind

State capture at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has led to the dysfunction of the commuter rail system. PRASA employs approximately 434 security personnel in the Western Cape. However, there are huge problems with these security contractors.The terrible legacy of those that engaged in State Capture will take years to undo. Commuters need to see improvements. A lot needs to be done regarding safety and security in trains.

Read more

Ulutsha Street Festival 2018: “Stop Violence against Children and Women!”

23 Jul 2018 | by Jessie Bohr | GIZ South Africa

The Ulutsha Street Festival 2018 turned out to be an ideal family event on a typical windy winter day in Port Elizabeth. This year’s Festival once again highlighted how public spaces can be transformed into positive spaces for recreation and social interaction. Further, the Festival demonstrated how festivals can be used as both recreational opportunities as well as opportunities to raise awareness on key social issues, such as gender-based violence and violence against children.

Read more

Creating safe new ways of experiencing our cities

28 Mar 2018 | by Marcela Guerrero Casas, Open Streets Cape Town

The creation of a safe, non-commercial and welcoming public space in Cape Town is necessary to challenge the barriers cemented in the past which taint our experience of the present and keep us apart.

Read more

Ulutsha Street Festival 2017: Campaign against Gender Based Violence in Walmer Township

24 Aug 2017 | by Jessie Bohr | GIZ South Africa

With the support of UMHLALI, an early crime prevention project implemented by the CJCP and Masifunde Learner Development; as well as the GIZ’s Violence and Crime Prevention Project (VCP); the ULUTSHA street festival took place on Youth Day (June 16, 2017) under the slogan “Report cases of violence against women and children!”.

Read more

Reflections on the New Urban Agenda: Let’s focus on public spaces for social cohesion

02 Nov 2016 | by Esther Wegner | GIZ South Africa

On 20 October 2016, the New Urban Agenda was adopted at the Habitat III conference in Quito, Equator. While including many important aspect for sustainable urban development in the next 20 years, the Agenda is vague on one critical aspect: the importance of safe public spaces for social cohesion and more liveable cities.

Read more

Open Streets in Cape Town: Connecting people and exploring streets together

14 Oct 2016 | by Marcela Guerrero Casas

Not only do streets connect places, but they also connect people. Yet in cities such as Cape Town, the legacy of spatial segregation is still painfully present. Open Streets aims to help bridge the city’s spatial and social divides by changing how streets are used, perceived, and experienced.

Read more

Towards safer cities: First national report on urban safety in South Africa

29 Jun 2016 | by Urban Safety Reference Group

The first national report of its kind, the State of Urban Safety in South Africa Report 2016 makes the case for integrated, evidence-based urban safety responses driven at city-level.

Read more

Designing for Safer Inner-City Parks in Johannesburg

This post shares experiences from the upgrade of End Street North Park in inner-city Johannesburg; a pilot project that tests a participatory approach to park design and management for safety. It attempts a more socially inclusive, and community-oriented approach to park design and management.

Read more

The missing link: does social cohesion prevent violence?

What is the relationship between social cohesion and violence? Can social cohesion act as a protective factor against violence in the developing world? These were central questions of a three-year research project in Brazil and South Africa.

Read more