CITY PARKS PROJECT
Creating green spaces for the community to enjoy
Get IN Touch
please contact Love Howick
If you would like to assist
Angus Van Niekerk
There is a growing body of research showing a connection between human health, wellbeing, community development, and the design and structure of towns, cities and regions. This research suggest that designated ‘green spaces’ within urban settings provides a number of benefits, namely:
- Health benefits associated with access to public open space and parks. Access to vegetated areas such as parks, open spaces, and playgrounds has been associated with better perceived general health, reduced stress levels, reduced depression, increased multi-sensory experiences for childhood development;
- Recreation and community building. Having safe spaces for recreational activities, exercise and play are essential for promoting health & social equality within the community and fostering community building among diverse neighbourhoods, especially amongst the youth and elderly (both vital components of the Howick community);
- Parks also provide an ideal setting for interacting with neighbours, developing family relationships and making new friends – all contributing towards a happier town;
- Environmental benefits: a network of parks and open spaces that include protected natural lands, ecological reserves, wetlands, and other green areas is critical to providing healthy habitats for humans, wildlife and plants in urban settings. Natural landscapes are vital to preserving regional ecosystems amid growing towns, promoting cleaner air within urban areas;
- Crime prevention and social rehabilitation: such green spaces seek to turn overgrown, vacant land that house criminal elements and promote social-ills within a community into safe spaces for positive activities. These include: exercise, arts & cultural activities, space to develop hobbies (skating); healthy economic activity, strong social bonding etc. Parks help in promoting foot traffic in previously neglected areas, and ensure greater community pride & participation in keeping their neighbourhood clean of ‘crime and grime’.
- Economic Development: parks provide a much needed boost to economic activity within the immediate business district in which they are located. Parks also have a direct impact on property prices within their immediate vicinity and increased business activity.
Our vision is to establish various ‘green spaces’ at designated parks & gardens spaces within the Umngeni Municiaplity, starting with a pilot project at Bell/Park/Harvard Street Park. This location has been selected as part of our integrated plan for urban renewal, as it falls within the ambits of our city rejuvenation demarcation. Please see attached CONCEPT PLAN for this proposed ‘Central Park’ for Howick.
We aim to draw on various partnerships between private sector, local government, NGOs, churches, schools and neighbourhood groups to make this project viable.
- Timeframes: January 2020 – February 2021
- Financial Model: a viable financial model will need to be decided upon to ensure that the capital investment needed for this scope of project is procured and a sound operational plan for the management of this facility is in place. This model would need to be developed to ensure these is sound financial management of this asset in place, and a management plan to funds raised through various economic activities within the park are used solely to cover all expenses to maintain and develop this facilities. The involvement of local government funding through various Infrastructure Development Grants or use of private funding will need to be explored to ensure a win-win arrangement all round.
- Possible economic drivers: retail section (take-away vendor, tourist shop), functional fitness (fire of fitness zone of park by various outdoor gyms to run group fitness classes, entertainment (hire of facility for shows, outdoor theatre, music recitals, traditional dance displays etc.), kids parties (hire of facility for kids outdoor party).
- Important expenditure: full-time security at gate & patrolling to ensure park space remains safe within opening times/after hours and all by-laws are enforced, a designated ‘Parks Maintenance Team’ that oversees the landscaping, maintenance and cleaning of all park facilities, Parks Services Manager to handle all events, oversight of team on ground & various economic activities. Electricity & water costs will need to be subsidised.
See whats planed
Have a sneak peek at our plans