Scene 7: Monday’s Meeting with Jude

04 November 2013


In our first meeting, on our first day of work, we had determined that a weekly meeting would be held every Monday at 1:00pm with all involved stakeholders.  The goal of the meeting is to present our current progress, address any problems or questions, and determine an appropriate schedule for moving forward.  Joseph Strydom informed us prior to the meeting that he would not be able to make it.  This week’s meeting was also pushed back to 1:30pm in order to accommodate for our advisors who had prior meeting commitments.

scene 7

Cast of Characters:

MGV Park Team:  Zachary Goddard, Tyler Collins, Katherine Connors, and Lucine Bahtiarian

City of Cape Town Project: Jude Carolissen – Project Manager, Cape Town Parks Dept.

Advisors: Scott Jiusto, Lorraine Higgins

Community Members: Ronell Trout



The meeting was held in MGV’s Community Centre building.



Our team arrived at the Community Centre at 1:00, hoping to meet up with our co-researchers before the meeting to review our prepared agenda.  No one was there when we got there, so we went in to set up the tables and chairs for the meeting.  Half-an-hour passed without any sign of our co-research team, and Jude arrived.  We indicated that we were waiting on our co-researchers and advisors in order to get the meeting underway.  He did not seem to mind, and we began having some casual conversation in order to familiarize ourselves with each other.

Prior to this, our only interaction had been a brief introduction at our initial meeting where we learned he was to be the project manager, though we were not sure what that had really meant.  After an inquiry about his role in the project, he explained that he was the Parks Dept. project manager for all of the surrounding area and actually had a number of projects under his wing at the moment.  He established that he would be our main point of contact with the Parks Dept. and we would be working closely with him on the actual design of the park.  We asked him what he expected us to accomplish by the end of our time here.  He replied that aside from actually solidifying a final park design, he would like for us to have accomplished something physical as well.  He suggested tree planting, and painting as easy activities that would be feasible for us to achieve while we are here.  While on the topic of planting, he also mentioned that we should look into planting medicinal and herbal plants in a garden in the park.  This would create an interactive space where the community could come and use plants for medicine, cooking, etc.  A similar garden has already been successfully setup in Langa, where the plants are irrigated with grey-water from the wash facilities.  We agreed that this sounded like an excellent idea as we wanted to establish a natural design theme in the park.  Jude replied that he was knowledgeable about planting and landscaping design.  Along the same note, we brought up the existing path that cuts through the park and our idea for formalizing it making it more a part of the park.  He said that he has worked on numerous projects where this has been done, and it is something that can definitely be done.

At this point, Scott and Lorraine arrived and we decided to get the meeting underway.  The first topics covered our progress thus far, and we talked about meeting our co-researchers, surveying the community, and our talk with the crèche principle.  We then moved on to discuss our findings from the week.  First up were the safety concerns we discovered when we examined the park.  These included the rusty equipment, the glass that littered the ground, the trash dumped on the side of the park, the concrete pads which are falling hazards, and the poor lighting.  The topic of lighting brought up the need for additional lights as there is only one light in the park which does not provide nearly enough light for the whole park.  Jude informed us that in order to implement more lighting a risk assessment would have to be conducted according to VPUU standards.  Jude also mentioned that he had worked with the VPUU in Athlone and Khayelitsha.  We also jumped to discussing re-planning the tour of parks around Cape Town that was supposed to have happened that morning.  It turned out that transportation had been the problem so we decided that we would be providing the transportation for next time, and it would be rescheduled for next Tuesday.

Ronell arrived to the meeting and we began discussing fencing options.  We explained that we would like to see some alternatives to the steel palisade fencing.  Jude explained that the money has already been set aside specifically for fencing, but it is still possible for us to propose something different to the ward counselor as “everything is negotiable”.  From this we discovered that Jude has already been looking into innovative park elements and will put together a portfolio to share with us for the design phase.  Over the course of the rest of the meeting, Jude would make 4 other important commitments: he would provide us with a list of parks for the tour, look into plans for lighting, help with park drawings and design, and modeling these designs in software.  We could then take these designs back to the community and present them to gather input on what they would most like to see.  At around 3:00pm, the meeting adjourned.



This was an important meeting for our team because we established Jude’s role in the project, how he can help us, and we can work with him. We see Jude acting as the person with whom we will be most in contact with in relation to the City Parks Department. He has worked on various other park development projects and is familiar with AutoCad, a 3D modeling program. He can also send department workers to help us once the labor portion of the project begins. The department also has various materials, such as sand and cement, which Jude has access to and is willing to supply to us. We felt excited after this meeting because Jude seemed to be very knowledgeable and we were looking forward to looking forward to working with him in the future.