Paterson Park, where a river runs through it
THE Paterson Park precinct is rapidly taking shape and much has already been done to improve the declining area, especially the park, which was derelict.
And, in what is believed to be the first in South Africa, stormwater collected from the waterfall in The Wilds, which, in turn, comes from the Bellevue/Observatory areas, and running underground for more than 80 years under concrete, has been turned into a “river” in the precinct to create a pond called the Celebration Pond.
This then becomes a stream running underground again though Norwood and Orchards, joining a stream on the Houghton Golf Course and eventually ending up in the Sandspruit River.
“The water has been ‘sunlighted’ for the first time in years and the City of Joburg, because of the new Louis Botha Avenue Rea Vaya and corridor of freedom, set aside funds to create the walkway from Louis Botha Avenue through to the park which is being upgraded.
“The walkway is also a short-cut through the park to Norwood on the pathway through the park,” said architect Maria Layperson who has also been involved in many town planning issues.
The opening up of the “river” will also prevent flooding. It means that flooding water can spill into the parkland, at the same time irrigate the surrounding parkland instead of shooting through at great speed through the channelised concrete pipes, she said.
“Officially, it is not a river because it is drainage water, but the water is now following its natural course.”
Twelve years ago, the Paterson Park Recreation Centre started declining because of dwindling visitor/ user numbers and a gym, which took over the park before going bankrupt.
Since then, the park and some of its precincts have slowly slid into decline.
Now, because of the construction of the Rea Vaya and plans to build multistorey, the area is set to be revitalised.
A children’s playground and outdoor gym equipment have already been installed along the pathway.
“It is already looking beautiful. People can enjoy a walk through the park area while walking. The city has created a whole new area which is welcomed because there will be many more people in the precinct with the imminent building of high-rise housing in the Paterson precinct,” she said.
The pool in the park has been filled in and made part of the park.
The new recreation centre will offer residents many facilities.
The old bowling club premises, which are standing empty, will probably be converted into a restaurant.
“All round, it is a very good development for the whole area,” said Layperson.
The Pikitup depot building, which is in the precinct and has been standing empty for years, is to be converted into mixed-use development.