Historic Church Square in Pretoria is about to be revived as a tourist destination and public space.
The Church Square Revival Project (CSRP) is a public-private community initiative working towards the rejuvenation of Church Square, and making the area cleaner and more accessible is seen as the first step by the city in the overall goal of creating a healthy public square with empty or underused buildings made into vibrant community assets.
It is also seen as a way to revitalise Pretoria’s inner core.
“A communications gap has kept stakeholders, government institutions and development assistance groups apart for too long, preventing us from being aware of our common interest and realising our combined power. Fortunately, the gap is closing and we realise that what unites us is vastly more important than what divides us. We need to make common cause,” said Capital Collective NPO, a partner in the project.
The CSRP project is driven by a group of people from the community as well as the private and public sectors and includes the City of Tshwane Municipality, Tshwane Metro Police Department, South African Police Service, the Pretoria Society of Advocates and City Property Administration.
Shops, property owners and businesses in the area and the community on the ground are also engaged, encouraging involvement and support.
On its involvement in the clean-up project, a City Property spokesperson told Tourism Update: "All across the world, a city square is the heartbeat of any city centre, and the iconic Church Square is no different. Its uniqueness as a centre point in the heart of Tshwane can't be underestimated and the history is part and parcel of the tapestry of our Rainbow Nation today.
“That's why we believe that this heartbeat of the city needs to thrive again – it needs to live and be vibrant, it needs to be a place where all who call Tshwane home can feel proud of, where our businesses can flourish and where everyone who enters Church Square can feel they are in one of the most iconic parts of the city."
Colour My City initiative
City Property also started another initiative earlier this year, Colour My City, to “add some colour to the urban landscape” of Pretoria.
“Colour profoundly impacts our emotions and how it influences our perception of the world. Our project involves cleaning and revitalising various planter boxes across the city. They can be found in numerous public spaces throughout the city. Led by our passionate MD Jeffrey Wapnick, he reminds us that we are community builders – actively shaping the future and working hard to transform our city for the better,” said City Property.
Members of the public have been posing for selfies, expressing gratitude to City Property staff who are cleaning and caring for the plants.
“We want other stakeholders to join us on beautifying our city. By collaborating, we can amplify the impact and bring about positive change under the umbrella of #ChangeOurCityForGood. We believe that by creating an inviting environment, we foster a place where people can thrive and businesses flourish,” City Property added.
Some spots where the colourful planters can be found include Church Square, Helen Joseph pedestrian area, Burlington Arcade, 012central, One on Mutual and City Property head office.