An integral part of Knysna Municipality’s Central Business District Renewal Programme (CBDRP), the municipality’s Grey Street Project, will soon become a tangible reality. “This pilot component of the CBDRP is currently in the bid evaluation stage,” said Knysna Executive Mayor Mark Willemse. “Once all due procedures have been followed and the necessary appointments have been made, the various upgrades will kick off.”
The Grey Street Project aims to improve road and pedestrian infrastructure, parking management, safety and security, public open spaces and signage. It also looks at including street furniture, urban art and landscape upgrades. The upgrade to the Grey Street water main infrastructure and road surface will be managed as one project.
“The planning phase for this project took place in 2018,” Willemse explained. “This included the design and development of an urban design framework, completion of a traffic impact assessment and multiple public consultation sessions. A project budget of R18 million has been approved over the 2018/2019 and 2019/2018 financial years, with R1 million included for the upgrading to the water network.”
The priorities of Knysna’s Integrated Development Plan include urban renewal as a key focus area. To this end a comprehensive CBDRP was initiated in 2016. “The goal of the CBDRP at large is to build, restore, renew and enhance our central business district,” he continued.
“Greater Knysna is known for the natural beauty inherent to our area. Our town also once enjoyed the reputation of being a quaint destination with a charm and atmosphere that reminded visitors and residents of a bohemian, dare I say magical, past. But we cannot live in the past and gripe because it is over – we must look to the future and build a new reputation for Knysna.”
“That is part of what we’re doing with the CBDRP. Our CBD is central to Knysna’s future economic and social success as an inviting destination for tourism, business and investment,” he concluded. “I know that future works might cause some frustration and inconvenience, but keep in mind that it will result in an attractive, inclusive space for our residents. One that we’ll all enjoy living and working in. One that we’ll be proud to call home.”