Scene 4: Design Meeting

14 November 2013

After touring several parks throughout Cape Town, the team was ready to sit down and discuss design options for Perseverance Park with Jude. We waited until after viewing several other parks so that we would approach the design process with an open mind, considering everything we had seen from various parks. The goal of the meeting was to develop a map of the main areas of the park, including an area for open space, an area for play equipment, etc. so that landscaping can begin as soon as possible. We then plan to present various options of equipment and other specifics to the community and gather their input on what they would like to see in the park.

scene 4


Cast of Characters:

WPI Park Team: Lucine, Tyler, Katherine, Zack

City Parks Department: Jude Carolissen

Community Members: Ronell Trout, Naiela (GLP Member)


Setting: Maitland Garden Village Community Centre



We arrived in MGV a little before one o’clock and started to walk to the community centre.  As we passed by Perseverance Road, we peered down at the park and noticed more activity than usual. We decided to take the long route to the community centre to see what was going on in the park. As we got closer, we noticed that there were City Park workers repairing the slide.  They patched up the rusted holes and painted the play structure bright colors of red, green, and yellow. It looks like a brand new slide!

We continued to walk through MGV towards the community centre. There, Jude, Ronell, and Naiela, another member of the Green Light Project, joined us. Abdul had been called into work today and was unable to attend the meeting. We sat around the table and began with reflecting on the parks we had seen the day before. We shared pictures of park equipment, paths, benches, and barriers that we found effective, supportive of our research on natural parks, and possible to implement in Perseverance Park. After laughing about the fun times had at the parks, we moved on to clarifying some of the project logistics with Jude. For example, it is possible for the current equipment to be moved if found necessary. Although the budget set aside for fencing is not negotiable, the type of fencing is. In fact, Jude stated that he was not in support of the steel palisade fencing. We discussed the possibility to use a low wall made of brick and cement to be used as fencing and seating along the edge of the park. Trees and plantings can be easily incorporated into the barrier. The current budget is enough to fence the side of Perseverance Road, where a child running into the street is a concern. This financial year, the budget must be used for fencing, repairs, maintenance, and operation.  Within the next few years, the budget can be allotted to purchase and install new playground equipment. The pathway is something that we want to keep in the park. The most cost effective and common material used for paths is graveling, with brick outlining the edge of the pathway. With these realistic ideas being brought to the table, we began to further discuss design options for Perseverance Park.

We revealed our dry-erase map of the park and it was a huge hit. We decided on aerial zones within the park, such as an open space area, space for play structures, area for a half basketball court, and a space for toddlers. We drew in the brick barrier, a pathway that included the current route, branching throughout the play equipment. We also want to incorporate small hills in the open area of the park for children to play on and to act as a barrier between the toddler area and the open space area where ball activities, such as soccer, will most likely be taking place.

After finishing up our generalized design on the park, Jude offered to make a model of the design in AutoCAD. Since he has experience with the program, we graciously accepted the offer. We cannot wait to see what it looks like on a more realistic level. From here, we plan to speak to the community about what layout of park equipment may work best for them.

scene 4.1


Walking through the park today, was exciting to see action being taken. It was us who brought the rusted holes and unsafe nature of the slide to Jude’s attention. Jude was able to relay our concern to the Parks Department, and before we knew it, the slide was as good as new. As a group, we felt as though we accomplished something, bringing up the community’s concern of safety to the department and them addressing it as to show the community that their voice will be heard throughout this process. It gives us good hope for the rest of our project.

It was also exciting to begin the design process today, bringing aspects of our research to the table. Steering away from steel palisade fencing is something that we have been talking about since the day we discovered that the Parks Department was planning on enclosing the park. To hear Jude agree with us on the thought that steel palisade fencing resembles a prison, we couldn’t help but laugh and nod in complete agreement. All of our ideas were taken into consideration while drawing out the park. The meeting had an open dynamic and we all felt as though we could raise any concern as we saw them come up. Having multiple inputs from community members and park professionals made the process run smoothly. When we left the community center with the large paper design, we felt as though it addressed both the community’s concerns and the intensive research we have done on parks. We cannot wait to share this with the community and work out the finer details of park equipment with them.

scene 4.2