Yesterday Bree Street was transformed into a car-free playground as well over a thousand people claimed back the public space through various forms of art, expression and movement.
We arrived shortly after 10 am and initially stuck to the pavements before the realisation quickly sunk in that there were absolutely no cars around. It was very refreshing to see a busy route re-imagined when it became car-free. People from all walks of life celebrated the new-found freedom of doing whatever they wished in a public space – as long as it was clean and legal, it probably happened at Open Streets.
It was the first Open Streets event I’d been to and to me it felt a bit like peering into the future. A place where cars don’t take priority in such a dense, popular space of the city; where expression is the order of the day. Drumming circles, yoga, breakdancing, cycling, skating, rollerskating, chalk art, tribal dance and flow art are but a few of the activities that were celebrated right there on the tarmac. A bonus was that a large number of Bree Street’s boutiques and eateries were trading for business – they proved an ideal place to take refuge from that hot midday sun.
An official speech was given by organiser and DA Councillor Brett Heron, who explained the concept of Open Streets and how the city supports the initiative. Overall it was a great, safe experience and I’m looking forward to see the movement grow in strength. Let’s reclaim our streets!
Photography Rory/HSM Images