The design of Gilfillan Park (also known as Jeppe Park) received a commendation for excellence in urban design at the Institute for Landscape Architects for South Africa (ILASA) awards 2019.
Implemented by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), the park was designed by kwpCREATE, who were appointed as urban designers on the project.
The JDA worked with Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) to implement the project.
Construction began in December 2017 and was completed in June 2018. The upgrade of the park emerged from a need for a functional, multi-purpose public space amidst the dense streets, office blocks, apartments and schools surrounding the site.
It was upgraded and re-designed for residents in Jeppestown and the surrounding areas of Maboneng and Troyeville. There are five stakeholder groups who regularly use the park. They include schools in the area, church groups, amateur league soccer players, Ngoma dance-off contenders and Jeppe Men’s Hostel social clubs.
The upgrade included landscaping (including tree planting), installation of the irrigation line, grass, street furniture, lighting, bollards and outdoor gym equipment, construction of two drinking fountains, concrete sports field and running track. The park also played a role in job creation and skills development, with 30% of the contract value being awarded to SMME’s in Ward. The contractor employed five SMME’s and used 39 local labourers for the construction of the park.
“Gilfillan Park is an important open space that also provides the community with a safe environment that promotes a healthy lifestyle. The park is designed to meet the needs of inner city residents who live in high-rise buildings, providing them with access to spaces for recreation and relaxation,” said MMC for Development Planning Cllr Reuben Masango.
“This shows how extensive stakeholder engagement can be used to create design solutions that benefit and improve the lives of residents in a positive manner,” said MMC Masango.