The urban jungle - green spaces

One such public space is Sandton Central Park, on the corner of Grayston and Sandton drives, which has been developed over the past five years.

The greening project, which was handed over to the SCMD by Johannesburg City Parks in March, involved the planting of 35 indigenous trees earlier this month.

The park is situated within walking distance from Sandton City, a number of hotels and residential complexes, as well as businesses. The development of the park was sponsored by Standard Bank, and will officially be opened to the public in April next year.

“We did not just want to upgrade the park – we wanted to do something that would make a difference to Sandton Central and that would have longevity. With the partners involved, we adopted an ecofriendly approach and developed a recreational area that will not only serve as an addition to Sandton Central, but something that will also [mitigate] Sandton Central’s carbon footprint,” says SCMD city improvement district manager Paul Van Rooyen.

Phase 1 of the development of Sandton Central Park will comprise an amphitheatre, sculptured garden areas, benches, a children’s play area and the planting of additional indigenous trees. Added to this will be a jogging trail, well-paved pathways and secure parking. The SCMD believes all those who frequent the area will use the park, particularly during lunch hours and weekends.

A partnership between Johannesburg City Parks, SCMD and marketing company Smile Media, which saw the park host advertisement signs, generated income. The proceeds of the advertising are redirected to the development of a fully landscaped park, including a three-year maintenance management agreement.

“The unique partnership allows for the private sector to work as a collective with the greening entity and business to enhance the quality of Sandton Central Park and, thereby, increase the quality of life of residents. This vital open space is overdue for a facelift and the partnership affords residents the opportunity to enjoy a world-class, multifunctional outdoor experience in close proximity to their homes,” says Johannesburg City Parks senior manager Oscar Oliphant.
The SCMD also partnered with carbon abatement company Carbonworx to choose the indigenous trees, which will assist in offsetting Sandton Central’s carbon footprint.

“This initiative with Sandton Central precinct is an innovative and unique way to put the Sandton precinct on the international map, providing a platform for climate, the community and biodiversity, in general. Vacant land is scarce in Sandton, particulalry for urban eco forests and parks, which makes this is a valu- able landmark,“ says Carbonworx CEO Mark Smith.
Urban Genesis, a pioneer in urban manage- ment and renewal, which creates, delivers, manages and inspires urban places, manages the SCMD. Urban Genesis provides services to enhance the physical and social environments of business precincts, with its core business being the establishment and management of improved city districts.

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