OVER 700 trees in downtown Cape Town, wrapped in colourful cloth, have become the talk of the town thanks to a mood-enhancing message from the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) that the CBD is back in business after the blows dealt by the pandemic.
Dubbed the “Rainbow Tree Project”, at least 730 trees throughout the CCID’s 1.6 square km geographical area have been wrapped in more than 3 000 metres of fabric to create a smorgasbord of colour.
The trees are painting a pretty picture in town and are visible on the Foreshore district at the lower end of Heerengracht, and in Christiaan Barnard St and Hertzog Boulevard. Trees have also been adorned with fabric in the CCID’s three other precincts, including high-pedestrian areas such as St Georges Mall, and Bree and Waterkant streets.
Thet trees in public spaces where people gather at lunchtime, such as Thibault Square, Pier Place and North Wharf, are also awash with vibrant colour.
CCID Urban Management manger Kally Benito says the 730 trees have been wrapped in green, yellow, red, orange and turquoise fabric as the colours “represent our diverse nation, hence the name ‘Rainbow Project’”.
CCID CEO Tasso Evangelinos says the company - which is tasked with improving the urban environment in downtown Cape Town - embarked on the project to enliven public spaces for the common good.
He says, “This is an expansion of our successful 2020/21 ‘Come Back To Town’ campaign with the view of creating a positive vibe in the CBD so that visitors and office workers can once again enjoy the space. We invite people to have a picnic lunch or their takeout latte under the trees to inject some positivity in their day.
“The wider aim is to continue to invigorate the inner-city economy, which suffered greatly during the darker days of the pandemic. By wrapping trees, we are creating a joyful mood in the CBD, and it is working … we have had a very positive response from members of the public.”
Benito says the project has almost doubled in size since it began in mid-January due to the public’s positive response. “’Initially, we were only going to cover 300 trees, but everyone loves the result and we have had requests from businesses to wrap trees in their areas so much so that we eventually ran out of fabric!”
The CCID will also run a “Rainbow Tree Selfie” competition on social media, inviting Capetonians to submit selfies of themselves enjoying the trees. A weekly winner will be chosen, and the entrant stands to win a retail voucher to be spent in town.
Evangelinos says downtown Cape Town, which has had a huge influx of local and overseas visitors since South Africa was removed from the so-called “red lists” of some countries such as the UK, France and Germany, is ready to welcome people back to town, especially office workers who are starting to return to the the workplace.
The trees, which include Cape Ash and Fever trees, have not been damaged by the tree-wrapping process, confirms Benito. “We have used small tacks to attach the fabric to the trunks of the trees, which only penetrate the surface and are not deep enough to cause any damage.”
Issued by Sharon Sorour-Morris, CCID Communications Manager Sharon@capetownccid.org