Park Station Precinct – African Food and Culture Hub
Plans are under way to turn Park Station into a gateway to Africa, with a welcoming public place that is a celebration of African food and culture, as well as a safe night-time activity zone around a public square or along a street in the precinct.
Transit oriented development strategies are at the heart of the City of Johannesburg’s Growth and Development Strategy, Joburg 2040, prompting the JDA to prioritise public transport in its development plans.
The agency focus is also on the Park Station Precinct, the primary transit interchange in the city region many commuters pass through this precinct as rail, bus or taxi passengers. It is a busy and vibrant part of the inner city, but there are significant problems with congestion, both vehicular and pedestrian; conflict between people and vehicles; and conflict between informal traders, pedestrians and retailers.
Priorities for the node include crime reduction, safe play spaces for children, more green space, markets for informal traders, managed parking, more taxi facilities, public toilets, and safe walking space for pedestrians and cyclists. There are three JDA projects being undertaken in the Park Station Precinct in 2013/14: Inner City Commuter Links; Metro Park / Transnet Land; and African Food and Culture Hub.
African Food and Culture Hub
In the City’s 2013 business plan consultations, Johannesburg’s Executive Mayor identified the need to capture the public imagination through the JDA’s development work in the inner city. He also expressed a need to capitalise on the role of Park Station as a gateway to Africa by creating a welcoming public place that is a celebration of African food and culture.
The purpose of the African Food and Culture Hub project is to identify, brand and facilitate the development of a new public space that is surrounded by restaurants and shops that reflect a range of African cultures. The detailed design work and implementation of identified upgrade initiatives is being undertaken in phases over two financial years, beginning in 2013/14.
In 2013/14, the JDA will focus on detailed designs, community participation processes, stakeholder negotiations and initial construction to upgrade the public environment. The intention is to develop the vision of an African Food and Culture Hub in the Park Station Precinct. This will include the development of a design pavilion by a leading African architect, David Adjaye, working in collaboration with a South African architect.
Detailed design and facilitation work will be done in 2013/14, along with construction of an African design pavilion. It will be a temporary installation in the public space that is identified for the African Food and Culture Hub. This will drive the retail and recreation activities needed to create this activity zone and gateway to the Inner City.
In 2014/15, the bulk of the public environment upgrade work will be done, along with a series of activation events, including exhibitions and events in the African design pavilion. Public environment upgrades will include lighting, landscaping, paving, street furniture and branding to create a safe night-time activity zone around a public square or along a street in the Park Station Precinct.