View Full Version : Find the Solution: Durban Point to Bluff headland
June 3rd, 2007, 05:25 PM
With the Point Waterfront literally taking off in Durban, the question has to be asked, what is the best way to connect the point to the bluff headland. There are however many problems that arise.
The many proposals include:
1) A subterranean tunnel
2) A cableway over the entrance channel
3) Shuttles across the waterway
However each option proposes a problem.
The tunnel and shuttle would require an elaborate system of routes to transport people from the base of the Bluff to the top of the hill. it has very steep sides and would require ingenious thinking.
The cableway would have to be VERY high over the ships that cross under the channel below and have to pose no risk to the security of the ships passing below. Also id it were to reach the Bluff headland it would have to start well away from the harbour mouth to miss hitting the ships below.
The reason for starting this thread is to see if we can come up with better options to reach the top of the Bluff headland, which has probably the best views of the harbour and city, as is the proposed location of the Africa Freedom park.
Below are images of the channel that needs to be crossed
June 3rd, 2007, 05:48 PM
A bridge like Tower Bridge in London. It opens when it needs to. One could make it look really iconic. :)
June 3rd, 2007, 06:14 PM
the bridge proposes eevn greater problems. for where would the road go once it reaches the bluff? the tip of the headland is surrounded by a milliatary base, so there would be no chance of building a through road.
Also to build the bridge would take up alot of land on the point side and need to rise at an angle to meet the bluff side.
as the primary role of any infrastructure will be tourist orientated it needs to be focusses on their needs.
the city does have a proposal for a bridge to cross the harbour which was made last year. this bridge would however cross over the middle of the harbour and provide a new route from the southern suburbs/south industrial basin into the city, to miss the heavily congested m4 and vic embankment.
I like the idea of bridge at the port mouth but sadly with no through road it will always be a non starter.
Let me re-iterate that the bluff headland and millenium tower are presently inaccessible to the public due to the miliatary base to the south of them. the only way the public will be allowed access is to develop a direct route from the point. the majority of visitors will be tourists, so it needs a tourist focus.
Once on the bluff there will be the africa peace park, the millenium tower (which already has space for a public viewing deck) and some shops. there is also a proposal for a hotel at the tip of the bluff. the city have vowed to make a decision on it by december, but it will not be ready for 2010
June 3rd, 2007, 08:54 PM
perhaps we should be asking the question, do we need a military base there in the first place? IF they really do need to be there then so be it, but its not 1980 anymore. So my options would be...
1. Move military base to someplace else (global village and all that).
2. Keep them there, but then they tolerate a road going past their front gate.
My first option would be however to go with an enclosed cable car that could start at U-Shaka and take a leisurely ascent that by the time it gets to the channel its high enough to pass overhead ships. The expense of a bridge would not be justified if the only destination is the freedom park.
June 4th, 2007, 02:54 PM
why would you want to go to the bluff? it has no merit investing to create a link when there is nothing there. Ive been into the base and there is no way they will move it as there is a lot od sensitive things happeing there simmilar to silvermine which allows monetering of the indian ocean. besides its very steep and does not have much going for it
June 4th, 2007, 05:18 PM
africa freedom park sounds interesting..would the bridge etc. provide real tangible benefits?
June 4th, 2007, 05:26 PM
the reason i pose this question is that the Durban city council is also debating this problem at the moment.
The land at the tip of the bluff is in the process of being rezoned and will then be able to accomodate the hotels and retail facilities the city wants to have placed there.
The Africa Peace park is in the final stages of design and is at the base of the millenium tower.
The aim is to link the tourist precinct at the point with another new, and slightly different focussed tourist precinct on the bluff. A site has already been tendered for for an international beach resort hotel by a local developer.
The bluff headland has immense potential, just like the mountain tops in Rio, and faces the same problem of diffcult access. If you have ever been to the Millenium tower on the bluff, you will know exactly why the city wants to develop the precinct into a tourist node, for the views are truely incredible
June 4th, 2007, 07:31 PM
The views from the Bluff would be great. And the views of a working harbour should be maximised, so I think the cableway is the way to go. Here's a picture of one in Hong Kong (it operates in the western areas, near the new airport), which includes an elevated station. A similar station might allow the cableway to clear the harbour channel.
What the hell is the 'Africa Peace Park'? And why would someone want to go there except to enjoy the views?
June 4th, 2007, 07:58 PM
gee dont know about a beach resort there, it must be the old whaling station site and the beach is shieeet there. currents are terrible and its not called shark alley for nothing
June 5th, 2007, 09:54 AM
^^LOL true, but bridge no way, I saw the intial designs for cable suspension bridges for the area, & due to the height that was required over the entrance, & the gradient had to be reasonable, the bridge had to start just before the night clubs.
Cable way is a good idea, but they would probably have to build a high tower for the station on the Point.
So a ferry running across would seem to be the best option, but then it could interfere with harbour traffic seeing that is the entrance.
June 5th, 2007, 10:25 AM
A cableway would be awesome. Imagine looking down directly on ships passing below. Also the key attraction would be the amazing views from the top and the tunnel or water taxis would only take people to the base and probably need some other form of transport to get them to the top.
June 5th, 2007, 03:48 PM
Also the key attraction would be the amazing views from the top and the tunnel or water taxis would only take people to the base and probably need some other form of transport to get them to the top.
Excellent point. If they're to bridge this gap, then a cableway is clearly the best option.
June 6th, 2007, 12:39 AM
I have a scoop, scoop, scoop!!!! Mike (and other passionate Durbanites), try not to pee in your pants like me when you read this. LOL!
Have any of you heard of ACCORD? "Who?", you ask? Well, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) is the organisation that have been promised the Bluff Headland for a proposed peace and conflict resolution centre. The center has received endorsements from amongst others, Mandela, Mbeki, Blair, Clinton, and Obesanjo (although Clinton's name doesn't apear on the current list, I have seen it there before).
Anyway, I have been periodically checking their website for more than 3 years, since their proposed centre was first mooted. They had a high profile international design competition for the centre a few years ago (submissions were received from throughout Africa) and since then nothing new was heard of the proposed centre or the winning design. Guess what?? It's been released and apparently the centre is to be built before 2010. Thus, Mike's challenge to find a way to link the point to the Buff is now not a moot point; it is real.
You're probably wondering about the design? Well, in short, it is simple but stunning.
But don't jump the gun yet. All will be revealed soon... (yes, I am a tease)
First, more about the ACCORD and the proposed centre. Then we talk designs...
The African Century will be founded on Africa's ability to find solutions to her own challenges. Her challenges of conflict, of development, her search for peace. African solutions to African challenges. Out of this belief has grown the vision of an Africa Peace Center. A neutral site, in Africa, where the continent's leaders can forge a passage away from conflict and violence, and towards peace.
This is a vision shared by ACCORD – a vision of the African continent, as it should be – free of violence and economic dependency. Where the resolution of conflict leads to significant economic achievements and a better life for all her people.
ACCORD is an African non-governmental conflict management organisation, recognised by the United Nations as a model for conflict prevention and transformation in Africa:
A model based on the pillars of research, training, and intervention.
A model that has been tested and proven throughout Africa over the past decade.
A model for Conflict Management that will be institutionalised through our vision of the Africa Peace Centre.
The Africa Peace Centre will be a state-of-the-art complex which will act as a base for high level conflict intervention and continuous research and training. It will also incorporate a resource and documentation centre, a meeting and training centre, a conference venue, 80 guest residences and a number of VIP houses. The complex will also house the ACCORD offices.
The Africa Peace Centre vision has already received the support of key political, business and civil society leaders throughout Africa and the world. ACCORD has forged a partnership with the City of Durban to make the Centre a reality.
Now the part we've all been waiting for: the design. In my opinion, it's really novel and unique, utilising the underground military bunkers, as well as light. The key elements of the design are described as "Wells of light, shafts of darkness, and a living museum." Pictures of the bunkers look the coolest. Surreal, in my opinion. Also, renders of the development show massive spikes of light at the head of the Bluff that will form part of the feature. They seem to dwarf the Millennium Tower and should look *amazing* at night.
Also, the proposed gardens are not called the "Africa Freedom Park" but the Gardens of Reconciliation. Key components of this feature are: "Generous lawn and seating space; Amphitheatre; Water and stage, and Restaurants." The design looks amazing. There seems to be a long, elevated walkway.
Now, for the part you've been all been waiting for (yes, I'm a tease, I already told you so :banana:): the design and renders. Check out these links (I recommend you read descriptions first):
THE VISION OF THE CENTRE
Renders here include:
- those massive spikes of light at the end of the Bluff; and
- stunning and surreal never-before-seen publically-released actual pics of the military bunkers [I hope they leave as is].
Renders here include:
- The exterior and interior designs of the center (which look amazing and original, in my opinion)
THE GARDENS OF RECONCILIATION
Renders here include:
- A repeat render of those spikey light features at the head of the Bluff
- Renders of a massive elevated bridge / pathway through the center, on the North-facing side of the Bluff (imagine the views of the city and harbour from there! I think that is the intended effect)
- An amphitheatre leading to a water feature of sorts
- overall floorplan of the centre, including depth of the centre
DETAILS OF THE SITE ITSELF:
OVERALL SCHEMATIC PLAN FOR NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN DURBAN
This page describes itself as: "The above plan identifies current and future Durban landmarks and illustrates how the Centre will integrate with other key attractions and functional parts of the Durban landscape."
(Mike, you can exhale now) :)
June 6th, 2007, 12:51 AM
So what do you guys think? There's a comment on the site that says the city is committed to building it before 2010. Fundraising has already commenced.
What an iconic asset for the city!
Okay, so back to Mike's question: how do we get there? Transport mode will have to work with design of centre. Methinks cable car feature might work best but it mustn't detract from the envionmentally conscious nature and design of the centre.
June 6th, 2007, 01:15 AM
I just noticed that the ACCORD site says the following (in their section entitled "The site":
"This is the view from the site. It sits on the end of the Bluff, with a stunning view out to sea, and back at the harbour. Access to the site is still under discussion. Currently a tunnel exists under the harbour entrance, and this is to be rehabilitated as a pedestrian walkway. Arrangements will then be made to get people up to the top via one of a variety of different means."
However, I recall reading this on the site 2-3 years ago, word for word. Thus, maybe things have changed since.
June 6th, 2007, 12:40 PM
This is a WOW WOW find Jerome and just the type of anchor attraction to draw people to bluff headland, and you could not hope to find a more inspirational site!!
This is so important that it now has its own project thread!!
June 6th, 2007, 01:19 PM
i hope there are bicycles to use to get from one end of the tunnel to the other..!