30 May 2016
Why I love in Sea Point: reflections from an urban planning academic
I moved to Sea Point 5 years ago precisely for the reasons I suspect Mr Polovin and his compatriots reject the idea of inclusionary housing in the area. It is a diverse, socially mixed and vibrant neighbourhood that thrives on difference. This applies to the mix of land uses as well as the people who live there and have lived there since its beginnings. Sea Point has a history of diversity and edginess, which distinguishes it from the mundane, privileged ‘sameness’ of the surrounding Atlantic Seaboard. And cities thrive on diversity not sameness. Currently people from less privileged backgrounds live in the area because it is a dense, well connected living space where folks can shop, work and live without having to spend the majority of their incomes and time on transport. Many of these people are however living in badly maintained accommodation, effectively being exploited due to the fact that there is a lack of political will to follow through on the claims to inclusionary housing. The Tafelberg site provides an opportunity to address this and illustrate that inner city Cape Town is not just an enclave for the privileged minority.
Dr Nancy Odendaal
School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics
University of Cape Town