The Brightwater Commons: If I was the mayor…

by Maskil on 25 May 2009

Another “what we did on our holiday” post…

The Precious Little Baby-Girl (OK, she’s eight now) is passionate about Adventure Golf/Mini Golf (what we used to call Putt Putt). Our nearest venue for that pastime was The Brightwater Commons, so that’s where we ended up just after the secular New Year 2009.

Brightwater Commons was once known as the Randburg Waterfront, and in that incarnation had quickly become run down and seedy. We’d visited it after the redevelopment and “greening”, but I hadn’t paid all that much attention to it until this time around. I wrote these notes after taking a leisurely stroll around the site during the course of our visit.

My first and lasting thought was “If I was the mayor or city manager of a small town or coastal resort, I would want something like this for my community”.

The Brightwater Commons’ website has a full inventory of the green attributes of the centre, but what impressed me is that it combines a semi-informal market, a park with lots of trees, fountains (and other bodies of water), playground equipment, shops, restaurants, pubs, a supermarket, etc., all in a relatively compact area. It also has a skateboard track and a place for bicycles. (Sometimes we need reminding that in a Central Business District (CBD), the business should be the business of life, not just the business of commerce.)

The stunning Adventure Golf Course is not part of the main campus, but is within easy walking distance.

Although it’s really beautifully laid out (a lot of emphasis was put on this, judging by the website) it unfortunately gives the impression of not being all that well managed (but I made allowances for the time of the year).

It also provides a venue for community and cultural events.

Finally, they have the appropriate emphasis on their innovative and successful incentivised recycling initiative, run in conjunction with Woolworths.

All in all, an almost perfect community facility!

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