FORESHORE FREEWAY

Lisa Kane Dreams of freeway utopias: who benefits? 

In the Spring of 1937, the Shell Oil Company employed stage designer Norman Bel Geddes, to create a scale model of a future, utopian ‘City of Tomorrow’ for shows in New York and Detroit. The head of the Bureau of Street Traffic Research predicted that American cities would be rebuilt in this way in the …

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Lisa Kane Cape Town’s unfinished freeways_ what it will take to finish the job

This article published in The Conversation: Overlooking one of the busiest intersections in the central City of Cape Town, en route to one of its biggest tourist attractions, the Waterfront, are two road stubs hanging high above the ground. They form part of the city’s unfinished Foreshore freeways. Follow the arc that the road describes …

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Lisa Kane A_women_cyclist_Card 32 Girl Cyclist series (Virginia Brights Cigarettes, 1887)(The MET)

When the latest iteration of Cape Town’s Foreshore Precinct scheme was launched with great fanfare it looked like the so -called ‘unfinished’ freeways would get resolved. The Mayor and her staff seemed fully behind the scheme and the idea of inviting in the creativity of the private sector had much promise. It seemed that lessons …

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Lisa Kane A_Weather Tunnel Exhibition (THF)

The Foreshore proposals still on the table present a future Cape Town where vehicles travel unimpeded at speed across a sparkling landscape. These images of a future Cape Town where traffic congestion is no more is a sensuous and seductive sight. We are lulled and comforted by this frustration-free and flowing future. The counterpoint to …

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Lisa Kane Four truths about roads and ‘unfinished’ freeways

When exasperated Professor of Transport Policy, Phil Goodwin took to the stage for his inaugural lecture at the University College London, with a lecture memorably titled, Solving Congestion (when we must not build roads, increase spending, lose votes, damage the economy, and will never find equilibrium), he took a well-aimed swipe at the ignorance about …

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Lisa Kane God-tricks and the Foreshore

The models and visuals of the 2017 exhibition of the Foreshore were equally entrancing. They allowed the visitor to get a full sense of the scale and grandeur of the proposals. Visitors could move, as if in an airplane, through the air above the city and see the future visions below. Donna Haraway calls this …

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Lisa Kane "Lean and elegant”: The poetics of freeway building

Source: Cape Times. April 7, 1973 and Louis De Waal clippings collection The Foreshore Freeways have been controversial from the outset. In the early 1970s the National Monuments Council unleashed an attack on the City of Cape Town for ‘indiscriminate development’. Fury focused on the potential impact of the planned Buitengracht Freeway section of the …

Freeways: who decides what’s re-presented? Read More »

Lisa Kane A_poster_Victor Bicycles LOC

“Our proposal starts”, said one of the 2017 Foreshore bids “by re-arranging and completing the elevated freeways in a lean and elegant way, thereby resolving the key traffic bottlenecks and improving traffic flows all across the surrounding road network.” ‘Lean’, ‘elegant’ and the resolution of traffic bottlenecks is not text-book civil engineering, but these words …

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