Hillbrow's state-the-art recreational park nears completion

Hillbrow's state-the-art recreational park nears completionA green space in the heart of the inner city. (Photo: Elias Nkabinde - CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION)

Residents of Hillbrow and Berea, two of Joburg's most densely populated inner city suburbs, will soon have a brand new, state-of-the-art recreational park on their doorstep.

Public artwork in the upgraded Alec Gorschel ParkAspiring to higher things ... one of the public artworks adorning the upgraded Alec Gorschel Park. (Photo: @JoburgParksZoo - CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION).The Johannesburg Development Agency's (JDA's) project to upgrade Alec Gorschel Park, situated less than two blocks away from the Hillbrow Tower, is fast nearing completion.

The project forms part of the JDA's Hillbrow Tower Precinct public environment upgrade work, and is in line with City of Joburg's Inner City Roadmap, which seeks to create a liveable inner city through the establishment, among other things, of a network of green public spaces in the CBD.

The new park will add to a growing list of green spaces upgraded or newly created in the inner city by the JDA, including the award-winning Metro Park in Newtown, which opened in September 2014.

The Alec Gorschel Park upgrade, which got under way in June 2015 and is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2016, will give local residents a pleasant, secure, functional venue for breathing, relaxing, socialising, playing and getting in some exercise.

Youngsters will be delighted with the sports facilities on offer, including two astroturf 5-a-side soccer fields, full-size basketball and netball courts, and a skateboard park. For the fitness enthusiasts, there's a fully equipped outdoor gym, and for the kids there's an outdoor climbing barn and plenty of rubberised surface play equipment.

alec gorschel2 300Astroturf 5-a-side soccer pitches at the updgraded park. (Photo: Elias Nkabinde - CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION)The park has plenty of lawn areas, both open to sunlight and shaded by trees, and the designers have taken advantage of the natural slopes to landscape different levels, creating space for plenty of terrace seating. The winding central paved walkway has been generously provided with solar-powered lighting.

Hillbrow resident Sydney Chabase said he was looking forward to the opening of the park "because we need a place where our children can go play safely.

"Children need to have proper recreational facilities like this one so the focus is on playing sports like soccer and basketball rather than crime and drug addiction," Chabase said.