The Knysna Municipality is ready to start with the first phase of a comprehensive CBD renewal programme.
Mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies said that despite many positive commercial and social developments in recent years, certain areas are still underdeveloped, not being used to its full potential or in need of urban upgrade. “To address this challenge, and in line with the Knysna Municipality’s long term strategic policy direction, work started on a renewal programme in December 2016.”
She said key elements of the programme are to repair, upgrade, beautify and add to the fine grain functionality and form of areas within the Knysna CBD. “The objective is to build, restore and renew the CBD and enhance it as central to Knysna’s future economic and social success as a destination for tourism, business and an attractive liveable space.”
Bouw-Spies said the municipality has an internal programme steering committee that focuses on key aspects including safety, security, traffic and law enforcement; technical and infrastructure services; planning and urban design, aesthetics and signage, and cleansing, beautification and landscaping.
“Following on-going internal planning, one of the first outputs of the programme is the renewal of the Grey Street precinct from the Main Road to Waterfront Drive intersections. We are finalising an urban design framework for this precinct which is key for the detailed infrastructure and urban design upgrades which need to take place.”
“The design framework will provide proposals to improve the overall urban landscape in the Grey Street. Key to the upgrade is priority infrastructure upgrades which can only be finalised once we have received input from affected businesses, property owners and CBD users,” said Bouw Spies.
She said that two public Open Days will be held on the 20 & 21 February 2018 at the Knysna Log Inn Hotel in Grey Street to get feedback on the draft Grey Street Urban Design Framework. “We want to involve stakeholders in terms of infrastructure upgrades, traffic, street widening, signage, bins, paving etc. to make sure that we take all views into consideration, also for the next phases in the wider CBD.
“Successful partnership with businesses, residents and users are key to the success of such a comprehensive long-term programme, as we’ve seen with the roll-out of CCTV cameras through
a private initiative to improve security in the CBD. Please take the time and attend the public sessions, as we value your input.”
The session taking place on the 20th of February is for business and property owners in Grey Street and will take place from 10h30-12h00. The session on the 21st of February is for any member of the public and will take place from 17h30-19h30. Please RSVP to Almien du Plooy at email@example.com if you wish to attend or contact 044 302 6388 for more information.
Bouw-Spies concluded that the Knysna Municipality welcomes all inputs by community members in the wider CBD working on projects that contribute to urban renewal. “For more information on the programme please contact Ilse van Schalkwyk at firstname.lastname@example.org.”