Most cities never begin their journey with tourism in mind. They start as human settlements, centred around community, trade, religion or resource. Once their permanence is established and population densities increase, systems and infrastructure grow to meet these needs first. Tourism is often an afterthought. It must adapt to existing systems and overcome infrastructural obstacles if it is to be successful.
Tourism, until very recently, was a thriving industry. This is mostly a result of improvements in modes of transport, affordability, technology and access to information. Things may have changed and there may be some level of uncertainty, but humans’ adaptable nature, wanderlust and need for self-actualisation will ensure the business of tourism continues one way or another. But, it will be up to the tourist destination to offer enough appeal to overcome any residual anxiety or hesitation within the potential tourist.
The City of Cape Town is a tourist hotspot. Natural beauty, an historic past and a cosmopolitan DNA attract millions of people to it every year. Like most cities, its tourist destinations are not conveniently located in one neatly cordoned off district. They are scattered across the landscape, reflecting the diversity that makes them interesting and worth visiting.
The City of Cape Town and Sanparks have an ambitious plan to overcome some of the inconvenience. They want to create mobility by connecting specific historic, cultural and natural tourist sites across the city in a seamless journey, called the Heritage Route. The route will take tourists from Robben Island to the Victoria and Alfred (V&A) Waterfront to the Lion Battery and Signal Hill and on to Table Mountain.
And they need your help!
Although some of the infrastructure exists, there is a gap in the middle. To unlock the potential of this Heritage Route a link must be created that will join the existing routes.
Enter the Strand Street Quarry.
The Strand Street Quarry supplied much of the stone for the Cape’s earliest buildings. No longer in use, the quarry slipped into disregard,
left to silently guard the Bo-Kaap from Strand Street. Although planned to be proclaimed a national heritage site, litter, vagrancy and crime have since filled the void. In recent years, a public participation process was initiated looking for ideas on how best to utilise the disused quarry. But limited resources kept the process from getting underway until now!
The disused Strand Street Quarry presents the perfect connection node, linking the V&A Waterfront to the Lion Battery. By starting in the middle and converting the quarry into an attractive tourist destination and connection hub, the full Heritage Route concept can be incubated and realised.
Envisioned to be the gateway from the CBD onto the Heritage Route, the Strand Street Quarry also offers a number of excellent location imperatives. It is situated close to the V&A Waterfront, the Cape Town Convention Centre, the foreshore hotels and much of the CBD. The quarry will also be a stop on the City’s inner-city public transport bus route operating along Strand Street.
Download the brief below for more information.
With sincere thanks to Henk Marais, Director, Connect Architects for his time and effort in sourcing, investigating and collaborating on the writing of this brief.