Throughout history, Green Point has been associated with the Green Point Common.
The beauty of the Common, set between hillside and shoreline, was remarked upon by many local residents and visitors during the 18th and 19th centuries. The scenic stretch of land has been used as a recreational space since the early days of the Cape Colony. Sailing regattas and rugby and cricket matches were once held on the Common. The verdant, healthy environment also made it the perfect choice of location for the building of Somerset Hospital, which was erected in the 1860′s overlooking Granger Bay.
Over the years, the extent of the Common has been gradually reduced. Portions of the land have been appropriated for defense purposes, harbor developments, hospitals, educational, residential, transportation and other government uses. The one, central piece of land has played host to a number of diverse history developments.
By extension, Green Point has a rich cultural history that encompasses all of the Cape Colony’s representatives, from Lord Somerset, to impoverished immigrant workers, sailors, paupers and the indigenous Cape Malay population. The area has weathered slavery, emancipation, Apartheid and a reputation for being one of the more shady areas of Cape Town to emerge as a bustling cosmopolitan hub.
Today, the Green Point Common continues its colourful history with the presence of the breathtaking Cape Town Stadium, the Green Point Urban Park and the Biodiversity Gardens.
Although much of the remaining Commonage has been leased to sports clubs and other organisations over time, the Green Point Common remains a substantial and significant open public space. The City of Cape Town went to huge effort to ensure that Green Point, its famous fanwalk and the Common were ready to welcome the Fifa World Cup in 2010.
Urban rejuvenation of the area played a big role in this preparation. Public beautification, cleaning and greening were employed to increase investor and tourist interest in Green Point, as well as civic pride. The recently completed Green Point Urban Park and its Biodiversity Gardens are a particular point of pride for the locals.
With playgrounds, picnic areas and a garden full of indigenous flora, the Park has quickly become the favourite spot for a weekend stroll. The joy that the Common once brought to the Cape’s earliest inhabitants lives on in this space. A busy commercial as well as a residential area, Green Point now offers tourists and locals alike a safe, diverse and tolerant suburb.