PROJECT 7: Union Ave Park

Historical context

In the past, Union Road and the adjacent golf course served as a division between black and coloured in the area. Any new development should celebrate and enhance the unity of the different communities around the park.

The existing golf course was one of two golf courses in Soweto and is currently the only one in existence.

Current activities

The current activities include soccer fields in the vicinity, a pitch of the existing golf course and south-north pedestrian circulation between Pimville and Eldorado Park.

Community inputs

In terms of Union Ave Park the following requirements were raised by the community as part of the GKDF consultations:

Economic activities:
1. Informal traders and growing business initiatives in terms of mobile kiosks for snacks and curios;
2. A place for festivals - Kliptown's annual "Play time Festival" should be widely marketed.

Recreation activities: 1. Sports activities - such as soccer (two existing soccer fields), rugby, hockey, volleyball, bowling & netball;
2. Places for games - this could include games such as mlabalaba, ntshuva & boa;
3. Entertainment space - such as music concerts, art exhibitions and poetry sessions;
4. A clubhouse - include a restaurant, community social events, space to accommodate the maintenance & administration of the park including security; and
5. Braai facilities;

1. Fountains in the park - this should not be too deep.
2. Adequate toilet facilities and permanent litterbins in the park.

Union Road Park should accommodate both old and young and should be for both visitors and locals. The park should be robust and flexible to accommodate day and night recreation activities. The community agreed that it will be suitable to provide trees and lawn in the park in such a way to accommodate the proposed multi-purpose activities in the park.

Design approach

Union Ave Park is proposed to be multi purpose park for all ages and for both local community and tourists. A row of triangular spaces with lawn have been designed in such a way that it is large enough to accommodate a wide variety of sports and activities, such as soccer, concerts and passive recreation. The lawn areas are framed by boulevards of trees along the Southern and Northern boundaries of the park. The lawn areas are divided by tree lined stone paths accommodating the existing pedestrian movement between Pimville and Eldorado Park. Drinking fountains have been situated on the axis of this north-south circulation paths cutting through the park allowing panels for local art. Provision has also been made for ablution facilities.

Design elements

Water Dinking fountains can provide opportunity for art work
Trees Celtis sinensis will be planted along the boulevard.
Fence and controlled access A fence combined with seating and dustbins is proposed along the boundary of the park
Paving Laterite compacted earth: This will be used for the walkways underneath the boulevards
Concrete paving interlocking pavers to be used along the street sidewalk
Natural stone paving is proposed for the paths which run north south through the park
Lawn Cynodon dactylon lawn
Ablution facilities Position of ablution facilities have been proposed

Implementation: April - June 2005