During apartheid, these open spaces served to separate the people of the surrounding townships. The apartheid government wanted to prevent people of different ethnicities from meeting each other. Today we want the opposite: by involving the local population in the planning, a lively park of meeting and togetherness is to be created with cycle paths, footpaths and sports, games and other recreational areas. Another example of the Bremen sports garden idea: under the name “Youth Garden”, it will draw on the successful Bremen model. An open youth meeting centre is planned which will offer cultural and sport activities. Due to the extremely high levels of unemployment and poverty, young people rarely see opportunities for the future. The “Youth Garden” is meant to give them new perspectives through meaningful leisure activities and active participation.
Project management is handled by Gary Cullen. He has been very closely linked to the municipal partnership between Bremen and Durban for a long time. Helge Mehrtens is supported by Nompilo Buthelezi and Belinda Khoase. The three dedicated women form the project team.
Helge Mehrtens grew up in Lunestedt. For the past six years, she has led an urban planning and construction supervisory office near Cologne, but she still considers Bremen her home. She is also responsible for supporting the municipal partnership between Bremen and Durban, acting as contact person for questions and suggestions.
Original German Text: Katrin Gerhard and Silke Goethe