A Physically Distanced, Socially Vibrant Melville
Melville’s restaurants, cafés, and other small retail establishments have been hard hit by the economic impact of the restrictions imposed to manage the COVID-19 crisis. Even with a partial patrons’ return, this is insufficient to maintain economic health and threatens to turn such areas into hotspots of contagion. At the same time, the lockdown restrictions have reintroduced many residents to their neighbourhoods and communities, turning them into highly valued public spaces which allow increased personal (but socially distanced) interactions, family strolls, cycling opportunities, and other simple advantages of urban life.
We are a group of architects and urbanists, believing that 7th Street can become a more economically and socially viable space to enjoy, supporting businesses and creating a more cohesive community. We have a proposal to give back some of the space on 7th Street to local establishments and to our community. By developing a well-designed system of temporary elements to which can both be used by patrons of local businesses and maintain social distancing, 7th Street can come alive again.
The project aims to:
1. create temporary interventions on 7th Street which create social spaces and give priority to pedestrians, taking advantage of the traffic studies already completed during the Melville Precinct Plan development to promote a more walkable city;
2. piloting an “emergency agreement” with the city to temporarily allow space on the road reserve to be used, with regulations, by the various establishments to increase the available space and allow for safe social distancing of patrons;
3. provide safe but appealing distancing of business activities from general pedestrian/cyclist circulation;
4. display educational and or/ public service information that reiterate necessary safety protocols (mask wearing, sanitizing, social distancing, etc.);
5. return some sense of normalcy to urban life and small-scale businesses on the street, while maintaining appropriate public health and safety protocol.
We are Costanza, Garret and Denver. Let us know what you think about this!
Contact Costanza via WhatsApp on +27 72 788 0001
Contact Gerret via WhatsApp on +27 74 990 3301