Short Film: Intermodality in Cape Town

Written by Khensani de Klerk | Feature image by Lehlohonolo Ndlovu

This blog post will be very short for the purpose of encouraging you to watch the short film which serves as the core essence of today’s topic: Intermodality. Following this short film, in a week, will be a MatriArchi written post on mobility in Cape Town.

A bit about the film:

The social character of hostility and angst in Cape Town is a direct reaction from spatial injustice as a result of Apartheid planning. Those furthest away from the focal nodes, economic hubs, subcentres; have less access to economic opportunity and – as Amartya Sen writes about it – development as freedom.

The interaction between formal and informal transport systems- getting off of a delayed train to get onto a taxi 2 seconds later to go to Wynberg- spark questions around efficiency. Particularly, how formal systems can learn from informal systems and how we begin to delink and reimagine a productive state without the tendency of wanting to constantly formalize as a way forward.

This short film takes you on a journey around Cape Town, using only public transport (excluding Uber), in order to explore aspects of efficiency from the daily commuters point of view. Most importantly, the intention of this route of observation was to explore how transport can be a tool of progress in amending spatial segregation by becoming a networked infrastructure involving both the formal and informal transport systems into the future.

MyCiti BRT system is being developed and extended, and seems to be of good quality, but who can afford to use it? Then is the informal transport system that created itself, runs itself and dominates the transport sphere accommodating high volumes of people travelling short distances at an affordable price. And then there is the over usage of the private encouraged by our current culture of immediacy- getting from point A to point B. The car is seen to be preferable and convenient, for those who can afford it. How do we make public transport better; so efficient, that it becomes the preferred means of transport- in order to broaden access to various parts of the city, and reduce emissions through a compact city urban form?

When I stand at the Jammie bus stop in town every morning, I struggle to spot a car with more than one person in it, all heading the same direction.

There is a lot to be discussed with regards to transport and access in Cape Town, and this short film titled Intermodality in Cape Town is the introduction to a conversation that will extend into next week’s article. Don’t hesitate to comment, or question.

Read about it in…

  • Planning and Design for Sustainable Urban Mobility: Policy Directions, Global Report on Human Settlements 2013 – UN Habitat

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