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CITYVIEWS

November 2011

YOUR FREE CAPE TOWN CENTRAL CITY PAPER

CAPE TOWN FINDS ITS YELLOW Cape Town as an

INNOVATIVE DESIGN CITY

Mother City wins World

Design Capital 2014

Cape Town on top

Innovation inspired by

of the world

nature’s design

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CLEAN | SAFE | CAR I NG

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CityViews

November 2011

URBAN INNOVATION

Changing the way we do business in town

T

he challenge facing anyone mandated to manage an urban environment is that cities aren’t static. They are always evolving, driven by the energy of the people who live and work and walk their streets. At the CCID we don’t just aim to keep up with that level of urban change, but to drive it in the right direction. We called ourselves the Central City Improvement District when we started – when we had a lot of groundwork to do in ensuring the Central City was clean, safe and caring, was a space through which the energy of the city could flow freely. Eleven years on, we’re just as clean and safe as any mall, and miles more vibrant and authentic. So where to now? Imagine if

town was the Central City Innovation District, a space where we collaboratively designed our collective urban future.

“Cities aren’t static. They are always evolving, driven by the energy of the people who live and work and walk their streets. At the CCID we don’t just aim to keep up with that level of urban change, but to drive it in the right direction.” What if we changed the way business is done in town – evolving with the times and involving more of our citizens – to ad-

dress burning issues like homelessness and climate change and equal opportunities? What would that journey and that future look like? I don’t know for sure what that future looks like, but to get there – together – we will have to apply our minds not just to our problems, but to their potential solutions. We should only fixate on the city’s problems and criticisms as much as they help us become better, help us devise answers and alternatives. We will have to take risks, and try new things out. And in taking risks, there are times we may not succeed. Of that I am sure. But we will have to build on our failures and learn from our mistakes

CITYVIEWS Published by: The Central City Improvement District (CCID)

Editor: Judith Browne: 021 419 1881 judith@capetownpartnership.co.za

Contributors: Alan Cameron Caroline Jordan

to finally achieve success. Let’s never stop trying. So, Central City Innovation District: Where do we start? We start by believing in our own creativity, by believing we can create change. The kind of creativity and passion needed to change a city is not solely the domain of the design faculty or industry. It’s a way of living, and a way of expressing change in the world. Join me in designing our urban future together.

TASSO

Tasso Tasso Evangelinos is the COO of the CCID

Website: www.capetowncid.co.za www.capetownpartnership.co.za

Design: Infestation 021 461 8601 The Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) is a collaboration of the public and private sectors, working together to develop, promote and manage Cape Town’s Central City since 2000. The Cape Town Partnership and the CCID were formed when the City of Cape Town, the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA), the Cape Town Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other stakeholders came together to address issues of urban degeneration, disinvestment in the Central City and related social problems. The Central City’s rapid regeneration process has been built upon the strength and pillars of successful private-public partnerships at both operational and strategic levels, and a shared vision for a clean, safe and caring Cape Town CBD.

SAVE THESE NUMBERS ON YOUR PHONE CCID Security Manager: 082 453 2942

Creating a more community-minded

Central City

This city belongs to its people – those who use and know and love its streets. How can you help make it safer and more community-minded? City Views spoke to Henry Giddy, of the Cape Town Community Police Forum, and Louie Rademeyer, MD of Iliso Protection Services, a firm recently awarded 100% of the CCID security contract, for their opinions.

Louie Rademeyer

Photos: Lisa Burnell and Shaen Adey

Henry Giddy

H

enry is originally from Barkly East in the Eastern Cape but has been living in the City Bowl since 1995 when he started studying at CPUT. “There are two important ways in which we can all contribute,” Henry explains. “The first is to take responsibility for our own safety – most crime in the CBD happens because, in some way, we allowed ourselves to be victims, by leaving valuables in our vehicles, for example. The

second is to report crime or illegal activity if we witness it, either to the police or closest CCID officer. There are mechanisms in place to respond to these reports, but too often people see something and ignore it because they mistakenly believe nothing will be done.” Louie Rademeyer was born and bred here and loves how Cape Town contains “a world in one city”. “Communities must get involved in making this a safer, more welcoming city.

The apathy of so many people astounds me: There are too many people playing the game from the sidelines, instead of getting involved, staying informed. I’d welcome more active citizenship in helping make the Central City a place in which we all look out for one another.” If you’d like to be part of the solution be sure to attend the AGM for the Cape Town Central City community policing forum on 10 November at 08h00.

Visit www.capetowncpf.co.za for more information.

Gratitude attitude Everyday acts of kindness help transform Cape Town, and City Views would like to recognise those individuals who would otherwise continue doing good work, but without thanks. This November, we wanted to say thank you to Clive Petersen of Iliso Protection Services – for safely delivering one of the newest members of our community. A few weeks ago, in the early hours of the morning, Clive heard over his two-way radio about a car stopped at the intersection of Buitengracht and Hans Strijdom: a young woman was going into labour. He drove there directly. “The CCID officer first on the scene had requested medical assistance, but the young woman’s pains were getting stronger – until suddenly her water broke,” says Clive. “There was nothing else for me to do but put on surgical gloves and help her as best as I know how.” In his time working in town, this is Clive’s fourth delivery! Clive, on behalf of the community that makes up Cape Town Central City, thank you! Is there someone who has transformed your experience of the inner city? Tell us why you’re grateful: The pick of every month will be included in City Views.

CCID Deputy Security Manager: 082 442 2112 CCID 24-hour number: 082 415 7127 SAPS Control Room: 021 467 8002 Social Department: 082 563 4289

Telling your story in City Views City Views does not sell advertising or editorial space at this time. We are, however, always on the look out for city ownership stories: tales of people who love the CBD, who choose to live, work, study, invest, and play here. If you would like to be featured, please send your story to judith@capetownpartnership.co.za for consideration. Please note that submission of a story doesn’t guarantee that it will be included.

Distributing City Views If you’re an eager reader of City Views – and you know others who would enjoy reading it too, consider becoming a distributor. All we need is your contact details, address and how many copies you need each month. Or, if you would just like to track down where you can obtain your FREE copy send an email to Aziza Patandin on aziza@capetownpartnership.co.za.

Reading City Views We love knowing who our readers are and what they think. If you enjoy your copy of City Views, why not mail a picture of you reading it, wherever you love to read it (Your local coffee shop? On a street bench while people-watching?) telling us what you enjoyed most. If we like it, we’ll run it. Get in touch: judith@capetownpartnership.co.za.


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Photos: Bruce Sutherland, City of Cape Town and Lisa Burnell

UGH CREATING OPPORTUNITY THRO

entrepreneurship

Cape Town’s thriving entrepreneurial environment regularly pulls in some of the most ambitious and creative entrepreneurs in the country. With more venture capital invested here than anywhere else in South Africa, the Mother City is home to some of the most exciting start-up businesses – companies that are not just making money, but also creating wealth in which communities can share.

“Every person in Africa who has a business idea and who needs a launch pad should know that they can come to Cape Town. This city must be known as having the best-developed entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country.” Alderman Belinda Walker

“It’s difficult to create wealth just for yourself,” observes Feinstein managing Martin Feinstein, director of Traction, an organisation that designs and implements programmes for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and the organiser of this year’s Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week. “As a successful entrepreneur you also tend to create it for your partners, employees and customers. Besides the innovation, competition and cheaper prices, entrepreneurs also create other entrepreneurs.” Bruce Wade, founder of Entrepreneur Incubator and Academy and co-organiser of Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week, believes that entrepreneurs provide one of the most dynamic answers to unemployment. “For every one person you employ, you’re supporting seven others. That’s huge,” Bruce explains. “The entrepreneur industry is critical to job growth in the city, but it’s

MAKING BUSINESS EASIER

a tough market out there. Half of all entrepreneurs and small businesses fail before three years and a further 90% before the first ten years.” That’s why the City of Cape Town is committed to supporting small businesses: “Every person in Africa who has a business idea and who needs a launch pad should know that they can come to Cape Town,” affirms Alderman Belinda Walker, mayoral committee member for economic, environmental and spatial planning. “This city must be known as having the best-developed entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country.” Already Cape Town is seen one of the most nurturing urban centres for entrepreneurs. Why? “Things work better here,” Martin explains. “The city makes sure that the bylaws are kept, and this makes it a cheaper, more efficient place to live. Inconvenience is a tax on your time, and if the city can save you that time you can spend more of it making your business work. “Furthermore, the geography of Cape Town creates nurturing and inclusive environments for small businesses.

That’s why it’s also important to grow the residential component of the CBD. This helps Cape Town become the 24-hour city.” Do you want to be part of Cape Town’s entrepreneurial community helping create a more inclusive city? Perhaps you have just started a business, but need mentoring and support, or have an idea you want to take to the next level, but don’t know who to talk to?

CAPE TOWN WEEK ENTREPRENEURSHIP Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week, from 15 to 21 November, is all about exploring what needs to happen to inspire and sustain local entrepreneurs and build an inclusive economy. The three-day expo at City Hall from 17 to 19 November is an ideal marketing and networking platform for incubators, agencies, funders and entrepreneurs. Make sure you’re part of the conversation: www.ctew.co.za.

OVATION N IN F O Y IT AC

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First is the regulatory environment, Bruce asserts: “Businesses, no matter how small, fall under the same regulations as a large corporate. And anyone making under R15million each year is a small business – that’s more than a million a month! This forces the average person to comply with stringent labour and tax regulations. It took me 14 months to start a small business. In that time I couldn’t open a bank account, I couldn’t register for tax, I couldn’t pay my employees.” Second is tax breaks: “Tax breaks could also encourage an entrepreneurial environment. Firms that make below a certain amount shouldn’t pay tax. This is international practice and should be introduced here.” Third is immigration: “Immigrants in Cape Town are often highly skilled people who aren’t allowed to work. We need to make their skills available to employers.”

How can Cape Town be more supportive of start-ups and new businesses – and how can those businesses in turn help create widespread wealth and opportunity? Send your comments to info@capetownpartnership.co.za.

Photos: Bruce Sutherland, City of Cape Town

City Views asked Bruce Wade what three things could change to make starting a business in Cape Town easier.

C

ape Town is counted as a key emerging player when it comes to innovation, according to 2thinknow, an Australia-based think tank that has developed an index to innovation. How do you measure innovation? 2thinknow tracks its precursors such as libraries and internet cafés, as well as its outcomes like the number of patents. City Views asked Guy Lundy of Accelerate Cape Town – a private sector initiative aimed at developing and implementing a long-term vision for sustainable, inclusive economic growth in the Cape Town city region – for his take on the topic: “Cape Town is undoubtedly developing an international reputation

as a hub for innovation and creativity. A large number of businesses in a wide range of innovative industries, including design, architecture, film, technology and food, are choosing to base themselves in the Cape region. As this sector of the economy grows, we can look forward to an increase in jobs and opportunities in these industries. In Cape Town, as is the case elsewhere, big business plays a vital role in creating the space for innovation to occur.” If you’d like to be part of the business solution to creating a more equitable and socially just Cape Town, an African city in a global knowledge economy, get in touch with Accelerate Cape Town: www.acceleratecapetown.co.za.


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What can design do for Cape Town? Cape Town has just been named World Design Capital 2014 – and there is much celebrating, congratulating and well-wishing going on in the streets. But what does being World Design Capital mean, and what can design do for Cape Town? Here’s the design brief.

“My wish for Cape Town 2014 is that the design bid will bring great trade opportunities for the city, particularly for small and start-up businesses. Spread the love in 2014.” Isabeau Joubert

The client

Photo: Courtesy of Virgin Active and Ed Basson

“My wish for Cape Town is that everyone will realise what a wonderful place we live in and work together to make it better, helping each other reach their dreams.” Andrea Schoots

“My wish for Cape Town 2014, is that we all remain friggen awesome, and let our creative Capetonian minds stretch the imagination of all Africans, as well as the world!” Mathew Merrington

In the words of Design Indaba’s Ravi Naidoo, “Your client is the community.” World Design Capital was set up to celebrate and support cities that are using design as a tool for the social, economic and cultural development of its communities. (And what’s wonderful about a community is it can be as small as your street or as large as the globe. Let’s start with our city.)

The challenge The 1996 census found 54% of South Africans lived in cities. By 2030, that number is predicted to be as high as 70 to 75%. Design is key in making this urban growth sustainable and economically viable – for people and for perpetuity – ensuring we can house everyone by 2030 and beyond. We need to secure and support human systems and human happiness.

The aim It’s all about design as a way of life, and as a way of transforming people’s lives. It’s about rebuilding community cohesion, reconnecting Cape Town through infrastructure and its enhancement, and repositioning us for the knowledge economy.

“My wish for Cape Town 2014 is that people will look at things from a different angle ...” Joshua Saunders

The colour Yellow. It’s the hue of hope,

the picture of optimism. It also complements all you blue-sky thinkers.

The budget Public sector funding from the City of Cape Town, together with the Provincial Government of the Western Cape and Stellenbosch has got us this far. Now it’s up to the private sector to come on board. Being resourceful is what Capetonians are good at. But our greatest resource is you.

The deadline Our big year is 2014, when South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy and Cape Town celebrates a year’s worth of design-led events. But as individuals, as a city and as a species, we only have as long as we’ve got. Tomorrow is an uncertain country, and time is short: Water levels are rising, populations growing, species facing unprecedented rates of extinction. Cape Town, the time is now. We don’t need another design chair – unless it’s a chair in a public space – we need a design change.

Want to tender? Submit your ideas and initiatives to www.capetown2014.co.za, on the Facebook page or on Twitter (CapeTown2014, hashtag #wdc2014).

“My wish for Cape Town in 2014 is that the world will find it easier to see the light.” Jack Daniel Mason

“My wish for Cape Town in 2014 is that Popof’s awesome street style pays off. And his restaurant is FULL of design lovers!” Lianne Burton “With the announcement being so early on the 26th, our wish is for Cape Town to have Dublin and Bilbao for breakfast!” Muti

“My wish for cape town is that we will all lean on each other for inspiration” Andrea Schoots “My wish for Cape Town 2014 is that everyone sees the world through yellow eyes.” Chris Auret


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Courtesy of Ivan Turok, Gerbrand Mans, and the South African Cities Network.

Communication for innovation: Conversations Cape Town needs to have

CV How to densify our urban landscape: “There’s little doubt that we need to densify in order to accommodate our growing population while limiting the city’s footprint. We must also do it in a way that’s more inclusive. Inclusive is tough: the inequalities are great, and the design challenges are difficult in creating a city that accommodates both rich and poor. But the city cannot shy away from it. There must be a distinctive path to balance and integrate these agendas because the challenges are so exceptional. And it’s really important to note that what works in London or Jo’burg won’t necessarily work here. There needs to be some hard thinking about what will work in Cape Town.”

Where are our skyscrapers? If the number of people living in a space was translated into tall buildings, this is what Cape Town’s landscape would look like.

Photo: Lisa Burnell

Professor Ivan Turok is an expert on global urban economies and the principal author of the 2011 state of South African cities report, commissioned by the South African Cities Network. Ivan also works at the Human Sciences Research Council on Plein Street and commutes by train every day from his home in Muizenberg. He made some time to tell us what conversations Cape Town Central City needs to be having if we’re to create a city for all our people, one that secures our collective future.

Ivan Turok

How to create a city for all: “We need to ask who the Central City is for, and what its role is in relation to the rest of the city. There needs to be some rigorous debate how the city centre can become more inclusive, and what a genuinely inclusive city is. The Central City’s great strength is that it has survived the political transition. However, it’s not that relevant to large parts of Cape Town, particularly our poorer communities. We need to adapt better to our shifting context. We cannot stay unchanged, stay the way we were 20 years ago, without risking our future.” CV

CV How to improve existing infrastructure: “The BRT and the city’s new public transport lanes have received a lot of support and profiling of late. But why aren’t we also focusing attention on our rail system? The rail network is more extensive than any other in South Africa, and we need to give it exposure – so that we might

also show where service is poor and needs to get better. At the moment there are frequent delays and cancellations, overcrowding at rush hour, there’s trash piled up on the tracks, broken billboards, differing departure times displayed. As a regular rail commuter, I’d love to see things improve and get more people out of their cars.” CV How to support undercelebrated, but highly innovative retailers: “Consumer services are very important, a specialised activity on the streets of the Central City. When you walk down Plein Street, look at the shops. They’re not conventional outlets owned by the big corporates, but are run by emerging entrepreneurs supplying a range of items that are very responsive to what consumers want: Cellphone repairs, internet cafés, haircuts, secondhand books. None of them advertise, but they’re entrepreneurial and profitable because rental in these areas is relatively high. There’s a dynamism out there that we need to understand better and build upon. We should be talking to these shop owners,

finding out what they need, whether we can help them to grow and develop, whether that’s more space or more flexible leases. And do they want to live in the city centre?” How to design affordable housing into our centre: “How could Cape Town’s creativity be used to restructure how we think about housing? The design of affordable housing is vital: We don’t want cheap and nasty high-rise buildings that get stigmatised and become white elephants. We need clever design to blend together different segments of the market and create mixed-income areas. We should also be looking at related services: If young working people bring kids, we should have good day care and schools, social services, community centres, associated facilities. And public space – areas that are attractive to socialising and relaxing – is a priority if people are living in small flats.” CV

CV What role should the creative industries play in shaping the city of the future? “Creativity is not just about what people practically do, but is also about the general approach or mindset we adopt – a questioning and thoughtful approach to how the city is developed and managed. Creativity means challenging others and ourselves on how we do things in order to improve. We need to shift our city thinking, planning and design to meet all the new challenges we face. We must do things differently and avoid getting locked into old habits and patterns which are no longer fit for purpose. And we may not get it right the first time, but we have to take a risk and push back the boundaries. It would be great to see more of this in Cape Town.”

Cape Town, as you start your conversations, why not head to www. sacities.net to read through the full state of South African cities report 2011.

Photo: Bruce Sutherland, City of Cape Town

Shaping our urban soundscape: Making (and muffling) designerly noise 1 Greening the city:

We had vuvuzelas for the World Cup, and while design fans haven’t decided yet what their instrument of choice is, you can be sure Cape Town will be making a lot of designerly noise in the run up to World Design Capital 2014. If you’re in need of a little artistic (and aural) respite while living in the Central City, here are five innovative ideas to reduce noise.

Noise bounces off hard surfaces – like buildings and concrete and bricks. If we had more grass, more plants, more trees, we’d have more life and more opportunity to listen.

2 Making your

street your home:

Carpeting, upholstery, cushions and curtaining all absorb sound: What

if you made your street look more like the inside of your home, made it more welcoming and comfortable for everyone?

3 Moving your city:

What if we introduced objects that absorbed sound but which we could move easily to create different sound spaces – like screens and panels and bamboo shades? That

way we’d also be making a variety of spaces to explore, large and small, but always unexpected.

4 Making music of your city:

Unwanted noise can be filtered out with wanted noise. What if we paid our musicians to transform our soundspace – and planted a pianist on Parliament, a goema musician on

Mechau, a DJ on Spin?

5 What if you

explored your city acoustically:

What does it sound like and where is it overwhelmingly loud – so much so that you have to block your ears and deaden your senses just to cope. What if we shaped the soundscape of our city to make it more enjoyable and more welcoming?


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CONNECTIVITY

Better business ...through broadband

We need greater bandwidth capacity, and free WiFi across the board would be good. Our city has a continental flavour, but we need to accept our African-ness and nurture it fully. And now we have the potential of a single unified voice with the Economic Development Partnership.

Many people ask why Cape Town seems like a more creative city. Why do we have more tech start-ups than anywhere else? The best explanation is that there is an inspiring entrepreneurial spirit to the place. But as a technology business, our internet connectivity is holding us back fundamentally. The unreliable broadband also means we cannot have live webinars for our educational business. Cost and quality are improving, but quality connectivity within the country is needed. Thankfully the City is behind Silicon Cape and supports projects under way to improve the operating environment of tech businesses. Rob Stokes

To hear more what Rob and Rashid have to say about innovation, inclusivity and enterprise in Cape Town, read Cape Town Partnership’s annual report, accessible at www.capetownpartnership.co.za, in anticipation of the AGM on 16 November 2011.

Photo: Caroline Jordan

Photos: Richard Aaron, Muti

Rashid Toefy

What would help drive new business and innovation in Cape Town? We asked two highly respected business leaders, Rob Stokes, group CEO of Quirk and chairman of Silicon Cape, and Rashid Toefy, CEO of the Cape Town International Convention Centre, for their opinions. They were surprisingly similar: better broadband.

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Coffee shop connectivity We know communication is vital to innovation, and that many of Cape Town’s entrepreneurs can be found hard at work at their local coffice (coffee office). So where is the best place in the city to get plugged in? Here are top spots for free WiFi in the Central City.

Hemelhuijs

This design-minded bistro with its touch of quirky décor attached to Freeworld Design Centre offers capped WiFi for customers. Food is pricey but delicious, coffee comes in a comforting handle-less cups, and they’re open from 09h00 until 16h00 Monday to Friday and 09h00 until 15h00 on Saturdays. Tip: Try the pie, whatever flavour it comes in. It’s worth it. 71 Waterkant Street T: 021 418 2042 www.hemelhuijs.co.za

& UNION Central Library

The Central Library offers free WiFi up to 500 megabytes per month. A coffee shop should open by year end or early 2012 at the latest, and in the meantime, you can get wired on their e-resource of business plans and make use of their many computers – two of which are equipped with invoicing, payroll and point of sale software. Their doors are open from 09h00 until 20h00 on Mondays, 08h00 until 20h00 Tuesday to Thursday, 09h00 until 18h00 on Fridays and 09h00 until 16h00 on Saturdays. Corner of Parade and Darling T: 021 467 1500 centrallibrary@capetown.gov.za

Masterminded by creative partnership Brad Armitage and Rui Esteves, & UNION offers 100% certified organic coffee (the espresso beans are from a single, family owned farm in Nicaragua), craft beer, tasty morsels from the charcuterie (vegetarians and flexitarians, you’re catered for too) – and free wireless from 07h00 until 23h00 every day except Sunday (they operate from St Stephen’s Church, and do try to keep the peace). Tip: You wouldn’t guess, but the bathroom smells wonderful – parfumier Tammy Frazer operates above the brewery, and her scents waft through the & UNION space. 110 Bree Street T: 021 422 2770 www.andunion.com

vida e caffé

Portuguese for “life and coffee”, vida e caffé offers both in abundance, and WiFi to boot – up to 50 megabytes a session. There are outlets all over the city, but those in Greenmarket Square, at the Icon Building on Hans Strijdom, and on Kloof Street (the original store first launched in 2001 by Brad and Rui from & UNION) stand out. Tip: try the meia de leite, vida’s Portuguese speciality, made up of one part steamed milk, one part espresso. T: 021 461 0424 www.vidaecaffe.com

{field office}

Doubling as a showroom for Pedersen + Lennard’s furniture, this cake and coffee shop offers courtesy WiFi, a R10 tea, and R10 coffee “happy hours” between 07h00 and 09h00. They’re open 07h00 until 16h00 Monday to Friday. Tip: Try some Tilly’s – ridiculously good ice cream handmade the old-fashioned way. 37 Barrack Street T: 021 461 4599 www.fieldoffice.co.za

Escape Caffé

Run by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lameen Abdul-Malik (who lived in Vienna before moving to Cape

Town, so you can be sure he knows good coffee and its traditions), Escape Caffé is a halal outlet offering free WiFi all day Monday and after lunch Tuesday to Friday – to complement their London-style sandwiches and creamy coffee. Tip: While you’re there, look up “Penny University” on Wikipedia, and then start a conversation with Lameen. 130 Bree Street, Cape Town. T: 021 422 1325 http://escapecaffe.co.za

YOURSTRULY

This lifestyle outlet on Long Street – celebrating its one year anniversary this November – specialises in gourmet sandwiches, coffee and art exhibitions – with lashings of internet. They’re open from 06h00 until 16h00 Monday to Friday, and 09h00 until 14h00 on Saturdays. Tip: 0832988455. It’s your code to connectivity in this coffee joint. 175 Long Street T: 021 422 3788 www.yourstrulycafe.co.za

Truth Coffee

As you’re about to enter the city centre over the Fan Walk footbridge, be sure to stop by Truth Coffee in the Prestwich Memorial building. Here they see coffee as a religion, and specialise in flavour not bitterness. Three hours of internet is free (no password required), and if you order

before 08h00, your cuppa is only R10. They’re open 07h00 until 17h45 Monday to Friday, and Saturday and Sunday 08h00 until 14h00 (or thereabouts). Tip: Explore the history of the space Truth is in. 1 Somerset Road T: 021 200 0440 www.truthcoffee.com

e’Mondo

New in the neighbourhood, e’Mondo – meaning “our earth” – couples seasonal simplicity (ingredients are organic and locally sourced wherever possible) with the convenience of a deli. Coffee’s great, WiFi’s free, and they’re open from 07h30 until 16h00 every weekday. Tip: Takeaways come in 100% biodegradable packaging recycled from sugarcane waste fibre, so there’s no feeling guilty when you have to run. (Even the tables are recycled, made from old shipping crates by local furniture designer Anton Ferreira, so there’s also no feeling guilty when you want to stay.) 42 Hans Strijdom Avenue T: 021 418 1609 www.emondo.co.za

For a great directory of connected coffee shops across the country, go to www.ilovecoffee.co.za


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Photos: Original image by Bruce Sutherland, City of Cape Town with graphic manipulation by Cape Town Partnership

Connecting Cape Town to itself and the world How communication can drive innovation

Imagine never having to wait for a YouTube video to buffer. Or not having to think twice about making a phone call to prospective customers. Cape Town, this vision may soon be a reality: The city, province and other stakeholders are working towards flooding the city with broadband. By 2014 the City of Cape Town intends to put in place around 300 kilometres of fibre-optic cable, and already many kilometres of cable have been laid.

Infographic by Ivan Colic of Afrographique: http://afrographique.tumblr.com

someone down the street who is working on the same thing – then good ideas can be amplified and businesses scaled up. The glue of it all is cheap, reliable internet access.” Internet access has become a business-critical service in our modern society. Our local internet prices are among the highest in the world and act as a real barrier to economic growth. To bring down the cost of broadband, three components need to be understood – international bandwidth, national bandwidth, and the last mile link. Currently access to all three components is expensive, and so the City’s broadband infrastructure project was initiated as the most feasible way for local government to help. The project is implementing an extensive and low-priced fibre-optic network that will function as the

last mile link between the 600 government buildings in the city. Key to this is that telecoms providers would then be able to rent surplus capacity on the City fibre network. Making this extra capacity available for city businesses is vital for economic growth. “We expect to be able to make fibre available to businesses at a low cost early in the new year,” says Leon van Wyk, telecommunications manager for the City of Cape Town. “There is a significant demand, and it’ll be important for us to make it ready once we can support and maintain it properly.” What of national and international bandwidth? “To bring the price down on international bandwidth would mean first making it more accessible through undersea fibre cables,” Leon explains. “This is happening already with the SEACOM

cable north of Durban and the West Africa Cable System which is set to be live between Yzerfontein and Europe. National bandwidth must become cheaper and the only way of doing this is through competition. At present there are only a handful of national operators but hopefully the burgeoning national fibre networks that are coming online will stimulate some serious competition and drive down prices.” If communication is vital for innovation, will there be better broadband in The Fringe, Cape Town’s up-and-coming design and innovation district? “The City is looking at the possibility of servicing the area with a concentrated fibre network that may be connected to each and every building in The Fringe,” says Leon. Chris Vermeulen, general manager of the city’s best-

Lots of innovation is happening totally under the radar – in people’s garages, in backyards, in shacks – but these are all pretty small-scale and the lessons aren’t really communicated out. If you can provide a network to connect these people – help them research what others are doing, find that someone down the street who is working on the same thing – then good ideas can be amplified and businesses scaled up. The glue of it all is cheap, reliable internet access. Steve Vosloo

known tech incubator, the Bandwidth Barn, hopes to be based in this innovation district soon. Why? “Connected to the fibre network, The Fringe will be a truly collaborative environment. If it really works out and becomes a highly connected hub, we’ll see a lot of magic happening there. It’s a great idea to set aside somewhere where we can have a lot of collaboration between design and creative innovation. There are so many examples of this kind of development; the world over there are huge success stories. It would be a great boost for entrepreneurs if we produce more success stories and heroes.” Cape Town, isn’t it time we all started having the same conversation? Let’s get connected, get collaborating – and together take our city into a future that’s prosperous for all.

osloo Steve V

Photo: Lisa Burnell

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hat does this mean? “We need to communicate to innovate,” explains Steve Vosloo, a researcher who looks at the intersection of mobile phones and development in Africa. “When entrepreneurs don’t need to think twice about calling 20 customers in a day, that will open a floodgate. Those accessing the internet off their phones, like informal traders, could really benefit from free, or really cheap, broadband access. “Lots of innovation is happening totally under the radar – in people’s garages, in backyards, in shacks – but these are all pretty small-scale and the lessons aren’t really communicated out. If you can provide a network to connect these people – help them research what others are doing, find that


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about

CityViews November 2011

town

BacK crEativE WEEK 2011 rEPOrt

crowdsourcing and creativity in cape town How do you showcase the imagination, inspiration and innovation of a place like Cape Town, knowing full well that there are more than 1 000 creative industries employing over 18 000 people in the Central City alone – which does not even begin taking into account what’s happening in the larger metropole, the city’s townships, people’s backyards. Creative Cape Town’s answer: You crowdsource it.

Heath Nash – who’s known for his ability to turn discarded plastic bottles into beautiful light sculptures – got stuck in to a forgotten alleyway in The Fringe, helping transform it into something visually arresting. “A little love can make a lot of difference,” says Yehuda Raff, coordinator of The Fringe. “Heath’s invitation to the public to join him in making the city more beautiful with his rainbow-coloured recycled plastic whirligigs – well, he helped make a part of Harrington Street more playful, more welcoming.”

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y outsourcing to the creative classes and crowds who live and work in Cape Town, Creative Cape Town is able to stage a diverse series of design, music and arts events throughout the city every year. Creative Week Cape Town – held from 9 to 18 September this year – is all about opening up the creative industries to the public and helping creativity and commerce come closer together. City Views asked around for event invites, highlights and sound bites. “The real success of Creative Week 2011,” says Creative Cape Town coordinator Zayd Minty, “was the widespread buy-in of the creative community. Design firm Infestation developed the campaign, which asked Capetonians to ‘f… the box’ – to find it, fill it, fold it, fear it, face it, and ultimately, forget it. It galvanised people. Creatives pushed themselves, pushed the boundaries, and pulled together some world-class but uniquely local events. There were more than 100 events as part of Creative Week 2011 – three times that in 2010.” Many of this year’s highlights were anchored in The Fringe, an up-andcoming design and innovation district. If you didn’t make it, here’s just a snippet of what you missed:

Meet the Makers Design studios opened their doors to the public as part of Meet the Makers – a curated series showcasing some of the best in Mother City creativity. Head of the Cape Town Design Network Michael Wolf formed part of the welcoming committee at these sessions: “The message the Cape Town Design Network wants to put out there to all Cape Town designers is that you’re not alone. We would like to create platforms where we designers can share our experiences and lessons learned running our businesses. Meet the Makers is a small step to increase the visibility of designers in Cape Town. Right here, we really start to see the great design talent this city has to offer.”

City Hall Sessions City Hall Sessions launched at the Mother City’s grand dame in full colour. “This City Hall music series falls directly in line with Central City Development Strategy,” says Cape Town Partnership MD Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana, “in positioning us as a leading centre for creativity and culture in Africa and the South. We want to remind Capetonians of the experience City Hall used to offer as a grand venue and what it can still become. It’s such an incredible space, and it’s only right that Capetonians see it come alive.” The second City Hall Session is scheduled for 2012. Watch www.cityhall.co.za for details.

Walking on Walls Street artist Mak1one took Capetonians Walking on Walls – on a personalised tour of graffiti in The Fringe area that turned out to be incredibly popular, despite a spot of rain. “There’s a growing interest in – and understanding of – street art in Cape Town,” says Mak1one. “People are beginning to see it as a form of legitimate artistic expression, a way to claim creative space in the city, to ‘own’ the streets. It’s important that people can see themselves reflected back in the city in which they live – that’s one way you can build communities, build confidence.”

Loerie Awards And then there’s the Loerie Awards, which took place at the CTICC on the weekend of 17 and 18 September: Did you know that despite employing only 40% of the industry, and having only 2530% of the industry share, Mother City advertising agencies were awarded 52% of 2011 Loerie honours and 6 of the 10 top honours? That’s the word from AdReview editor Tony Koenderman. “When the Loeries first came to Cape Town, they were looking for some way to involve the broader creative sector beyond the main award ceremonies. That’s in part how Creative Week got started,” Zayd explains. “It’s about providing a channel for the creative sector, showcasing the great work they do, outside of an official, invite-only award ceremony. And regardless of whether the Loeries stay in Cape Town indefinitely or not – the city is up against Jo’burg and Durban to host next year’s event – Creative Week ensures that there’s a legacy, a platform for aspirant and established creatives.”

All of this begs the question: Where to next year? “We’ve got the buy-in of the city’s creatives,” says Zayd. “In 2012 and beyond we need to connect these creatives up with other entities – commer-

Music City The silver screen was filled with sound for Music City, a series of Cape music documentaries shown at the Labia on Orange, a venue that oozes old-school cool. “Music plays such an important part in our city’s history – which might have something to do with the fact that the most successful films at Encounters often deal with local sound,” says Encounters’ Steven Markovitz. “It was high time that the pick of these were screened collectively, so audiences could go on an audiovisual journey of that history.”

cial enterprises, urban planners, government officials. Creativity is vital to the development of this city and its communities – in positioning us for a more prosperous and sustainable future. We’ll be looking for better synergies with what’s happening more broadly in Cape Town over that time.”

Stay tuned to www.creativecapetown.net for details on the creative industry in Cape Town, and plans for Creative Week 2012.

Photo: Sydelle Willow Smith and Sarah Scott

Heath Nash


November 2011

CityViews

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report back l a v ti s fe K O O B OPEN

Photo: Sydelle Willow Smith and supplied by Open Book

Opening up the city through stories Where many literary festivals are about retreating from the city to the countryside, Open Book Cape Town is one fest that firmly embraces the cityscape. Taking place from 21 to 25 September 2011, this five-day affair saw more than 25 top international and over 80 local authors introduced to thousands of festivalgoers.

Freedom to create in Cape Town Freedom to Create – an international organisation that supports artists who work to inspire social change – is coming to Cape Town this November.

Forum at The Fugard:

“O

pen Book started with a burning question,” explains the Book Lounge’s Mervyn Sloman (and co-founder of the festival), “How do we make books, the written word, available and accessible – and relevant – to the larger public, especially the youth. Literature and literary festivals can sometimes be closed-door discussions. We wanted to host something that opened up doors and debate, between Capetonians themselves, between South African authors and the international publishing scene, between those who read and those who write, and hopefully those who don’t read – yet. We wanted to open up this city through stories.” Events were staged at key locations around the city – the Fugard, District Six Museum, the old Slave Lodge, 6 Spin Street – and included everything from serious discussions around searching for leadership in South Africa (driven by thought leaders Jay Naidoo and Jonathan Jansen) to interpretations of literary works through music (such as cellist Robert Jeffery interpreting Steven Galloway’s The Cellist of Sarajevo). Key to the celebrations was a youth festival on Heritage Day, which started with the library opening at Matthew Goniwe Memorial High School, moved to Harare Library in Khayelitsha where Sifiso Mzobe and Cynthia Jele read from and spoke about their novels, and ended at the District

Six Homecoming Centre, where the life stories of youth who live on the Cape Flats – collected in the book Edge of the Table – were dramatised by the Human Rights Media Centre. Given more than 150 events over five days, what was the festival’s highlight? “One of the most rewarding components was undoubtedly stocking Matthew Goniwe Memorial High School’s library,” says organiser Frankie Murrey, “thanks to the generosity of festivalgoers and publishers. The relationship with the school, its students and teachers, is one we feel strongly about and will build on through projects like the reading club we’ve begun. Our mentoring project will kick off soon, and while it isn’t focused at Matthew Goniwe students, we are excited about the impact it will

“I can say without stint or reservation that I had a glimpse of a different sort of Cape Town, a kind of literary heaven, where I had one of the best times I can remember in the nearly thirty years I’ve lived here…I know a lot of other people feel the same way. Open Book was really wonderful.” Damon Galgut

have on aspiring writers.” What has been festival feedback? Hear it from acclaimed authors themselves: “I can say without stint or reservation that I had a glimpse of a different sort of Cape Town, a kind of literary heaven, where I had one of the best times I can remember in the nearly thirty years I’ve lived here…I know a lot of other people feel the same way. Open Book was really wonderful,” says awardwinning South African author and playwright Damon Galgut “Open Book 2011 was just terrific. Cape Town audiences and the book shop and Fugard crowd are very warm, smart, chatty, occasionally inebriated on Leopard’s Leap cabernet sauvignon. They make you feel the years of scribbling are worth it,” says comedy writer, author and performer Jane Bussmann “Open Book offered a variety of intriguing and beautiful venues, and writers from all corners of the globe, speaking on subjects of many kinds, but I appreciated above all that through Open Book, the Matthew Goniwe High School library in Khayelitsha is now stocked with books, for school students now, and in future years to come. This reaching across from the literary community, to a less privileged community, is something I have seldom seen, but it is surely essential to the building of a better world. Thank you, Open Book, for leading the way!” says South

A forum on how to create lasting change for the women in their communities will be chaired by Graça Machel, Unity Dow, Chouchou Namegabe, Molly Melching and Gcina Mhlophe. The session will start at 16h00 on 16 November at The Fugard.

Exhibition in the Garden: An outdoor

African-born, Toronto-based author Dawn Promislow “Open Book Cape Town is the friendliest and most fertile of festivals. The organisers run it with commitment to engaging the community that transcends the navel-gazing that can happen at these events. Cape Town itself is a key player, offering a magnificent and complex backdrop for the entire schedule,” says New Yorkborn, Melbourne-based author Steven Amsterdam “Open Book dazzled in its debut year – delightful venues, exceptionally well-organised and a feast of exhilarating talks and readings. Set against the unbeatable backdrop of Table Mountain, Open Book is sure to become a muchloved fixture on the international literary calendar,” says deputy director-general at the Brenthurst Foundation Terence McNamee

If you’d like to find out how you can help make Open Book 2012 in Cape Town became bigger, better and even more inclusive, contact Frankie at frankie@openbookfestival.co.za.

exhibition of works by the 2011 Freedom to Create Prize entrants will be staged at the Company’s Garden and along Government Avenue, and feature a number of shortlisted South African entrants. The exhibition will be opened by Graça Machel at 10h00 on 17 November at the Iziko Slave Lodge and continue until 18 December 2011.

Award ceremony at Kirstenbosch: The 2011 Freedom to Create Prize winners will be announced on 19 November 2011 at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden at a ceremony including Nelson Mandela Foundation Chief Executive Achmat Dangor and Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille. Tickets cost R100.

The proceeds of all online ticket sales will go to a community programme in Cape Town. You can secure yours at www.webtickets. co.za. For more details, go to www.freedomtocreate.com.


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CityViews November 2011

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iNNOvativE citY

innovation inspired by nature – and applied to The Fringe

“Design is a fundamentally human activity, something we all do. Whether we know it or not, we are constantly designing our world. But through the lens of biomimicry we can design a far smarter world that ensures the longevity, the livelihood of all organisms – including us – on this planet.” andrea Grant-Broom

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ow imagine Cape Town filled with living, breathing buildings forming a forest at the foot of the mountain. And this forest is alive, and not just with people, but with plants, animals and insects. In 2011, Cape Town, South Africa, this kind of imagining isn’t just a flight of fantasy; it’s the work of leading scientists, chemical engineers, architects, urban planners, biologists and industrial designers. And the Cape Peninsula University of Technology – which sits adjacent to the design and innovation district known as The Fringe – is leading the way. CPUT’s faculty of informatics and design – the largest design faculty in the country with fourteen departments – is the first in South Africa to formally integrate biomimicry into its curriculum. Biomimicry – taken from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate – can be defined as innovation inspired by nature, the conscious emulation of nature’s genius. “Essentially what we are doing in integrating biomimicry into our curriculum is inspiring our design students to understand and emulate more than 3.8-billion years of research and development done by nature,” says dBr uce b

Snaddon, one of four lecturers who piloted a biomimicry module at the university. “In so doing we aim to not only promote innovative thinking and solutions, but also to create conditions conducive to all life wherever design is done.” Drawing on a cross-section of graphic, industrial and surface design students, the five-week module saw 72 students apply their minds – and nature’s R&D legacy – to key challenges in their immediate urban environment: the removal of waste, the provision of shelter, the need for better navigation systems and the supply of clean drinking water. Design solutions had to take into account finite resources and the long-term sustainability of the project. The design solutions generated by students were both surprising and inspiring –a bicycle-based refuse removal system and community garden modelled on dung beetles; a hub for creativity in Buitenkant Street which uses clean graffiti, achieved by removing dirt from walls; a way-finding system inspired by plasmodial slime mould. Says Yehuda Raff, coordinator of The Fringe, “CPUT not only embraced biomimicry and its design potential but applied it to The Fringe; they set their students a series of briefs responding directly to the real-life challenges we face in the district. Not all of the student projects were feasible, but all of them had a little spark of genius of how something could change in The Fringe or in the urban environment in general.” Integrating biomimicry into

the curriculum has meant not only innovation in design outputs, but also in education: “Universities have been operating in very much the same way for the last 800 years, and have a bad reputation for being ivory towers, removed from the communities in which they sit, and knowledge transfer was strictly one way – lecturer to student. We’re trying to change that, allow for a more porous system that takes into account our context in time and in this urban environment. Lectures are now workshopped and facilitated, not taught, and the subject matter evolve with the students’ own thinking and experience,” says Andrea Grant-Broom, one of the graphic design lecturers leading the module. “Redefining the way we teach through the biomimicry module means that our students are now creating their own future, not just recycling what we’ve taught them. They are creating their own knowledge within the knowledge economy.”

“Our vision for the fringe is to become a real, living laboratory for urban systems and products. Our highest value is the extent to which we can use our growth to test and pilot, succeed and fail at new urban solutions. Biomimicry starts to allow a reading of appropriate, sustainable urban development in a way that’s not just hippie.” Yehuda raff

Photo: Supplied by TEDxCapeTown

Imagine the building you’re in right now functioned like a tree. This tree would harvest the energy of the people living, breathing and moving in it to run the air-conditioning and lights. It would compost the waste you produce to help grow the food you’ll eat for lunch.

Cape Town at the cutting edge City Views spoke to Claire Janisch, South Africa’s foremost biomimicry authority, about why and how Cape Town is playing such a key part in a growing global movement. “Cape Town is the leading hub of biomimicry in South Africa – and of all the regional biomimicry hubs outside of the US, biomimicry South Africa has progressed the furthest so far. So I guess you could say that Cape Town is a leading hub of biomimicry globally. Why Cape Town? Because there’s a very, very active community of people trained and interested in biomimicry here who meet at least once a month. It’s also a function of the type of creative design thinking that happens here – Capetonians are more inclined to seek out more sustainable solutions, are more interested in going green, and many of South Africa’s top tech incubators and design firms are here. As for learning environments, there’s no doubt that CPUT is the leading university in South Africa when it comes to biomimicry, being the first to formally integrate it into their curriculum. And finally, CPUT has an urban laboratory on its doorstep, The Fringe, a district that can become the physical example of all biomimicry has to offer. It’s exciting!”

GEt iNsPirED If you’d like to know more about biomimicry in South Africa, visit www.biomimicrysa.co.za. To find out more about studying biomimicry at CPUT and getting involved with the faculty’s work in The Fringe, mail snaddonb@cput.co.za.


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Green gift giving this holiday season 00 ER

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We all know the year end never winds down work-wise, but up – with end of year functions, annual reports, stakeholder meetings. So how do you find time to do your festive season shopping? Here’s the City Views guide to gifts that are local, eco-friendly, ethically made, affordable and accessible – meaning you can buy them during your lunch break. The Designer-Maker Market Freeworld Design Centre will be hosting an artisan market for festive season gifts – which starts at 15h30 on 14 December, but runs from 10h30 until late on both 15 and 16 December at the Freeworld Design Centre courtyard. This event also forms part of WalkCapeTown, a post-World Cup initiative that aims to re-energise the Fan Walk through public events and ultimately en-

hance the cultural life of the city. Designer exhibitors are all being handpicked by Lauren Shantall (formerly the curator and manager of the Design Indaba Expo). Who will be there that fits our criteria? The exhibitor list is still being confirmed, but two names come to mind: Wild Olive handmakes all-natural, organic soaps and cosmetics while creating jobs. A big bar of soap is R30 and comes so

beautifully packaged that extra wrapping would just be going over the top. Heath Nash has become a household name for his beautiful light sculpture made from recycled plastic. Look out for his bargain bin to score on high-end design.

a long-term (market) solution and get your choice of working wire radios, picture frames, vases, egg cups or creative sculptures. Prices range piece by piece, but you’re sure to find

something under R100. African Christmas decorations, perhaps?

Freeworld Design Centre 71 Waterkant Street T: 021 427 8918 www.freeworlddesigncentre. com

Honest Chocolate is kept as pure as possible, with no preservatives, artificial flavouring or emulsifiers used. Dairy is also omitted, and instead of processed sugar, Honest uses agave nectar as a sweetener, which has a very low GI. R42 gets you a chocolate slab (with

delightful themed wrappers by Cape Town illustrators) or chocolate spread that can be used on anything from fresh bread to fruit; R45 gets you a box of four bon-bons. 66 Wale Street T: 021 423 8762 www.honestchocolate.co.za

Photos : Caroline Jordan

Chocolatiers Michael de Klerk and Anthony Gird opened Honest Chocolate on Wale Street in August this year – and their product is not only handcrafted, but also created using raw (as in unroasted) organic Ecuadorian cacao. The chocolate

Streetwires Streetwires doesn’t just create contemporary African wire and bead craft – they create jobs for the formerly unemployed. Enter the bright orange building on Shortmarket to be part of

BLANK{space} Sometimes a heartfelt note says more than anything money could buy. If words are your gift, Charlene Walton of BLANK{space} has some beautiful gift tags and post-

cards – punctuated by original illustrations, fun typography and beautiful letterpress – on which to put them. The paper is made of 50% recycled postconsumer waste and 50% FSC-

certified pulp. R45 gets you a set of five gift tags, R90 a set of five postcards with envelopes. 71 Roeland Street T: 021 461 9031 http://blankspace.co.za

MARKETING THE FRINGE: Remember when Greenmarket Square was your best bet for design bargains? The Fringe Handmade is resurrecting those good old days on 3 December at Harrington Square. Watch the press for details.

77 Shortmarket Street T: 021 426 2475 www.streetwires.co.za

Looking for more places and spaces to get eco? Check out Cape Town Green Map to explore the city’s green geography: www.capetowngreenmap. co.za.

Tips for green gift wrapping: reduce, reuse, recycle In the United Kingdom alone, around 83 000 000m2 of gift wrap winds up on rubbish heaps after the holiday season (according to Planet Green). How can you avoid shiny wrapping paper and plastic coated ribbons and tape while still making your green gift look good? Ute Faure, founder of Green Elephant Collective – which promotes local designs, products, artisans, and designers – gives City Views her top tips.

1. Keep any gift bags given to you from friends, they are so easy to reuse. There’s no harm keeping branded gift bags either – your best friend surely won’t mind receiving a new paper back in a Body Shop bag? 2. Jazz up your packaging, whether bag or box, with organic elements: A sprig of rosemary or cluster of lavender makes for a beautiful

embellishment. 3. Keep a box of ribbons, lace or buttons to pretty up your present; no one will know whether the ribbon on that box has been recycled or not! 4. In the same theme, repurposing paper products from around the house, such as old road maps, wallpaper, or sheet music is a unique way to give second life to something

that may have just been thrown out. 5. Avoid tape by wrapping books, bottles and other items with simple shapes in paper, then folding the edges to secure. Recycle a sticker to secure the fold. 6. Alternatively, go naked! Sometimes a gift is too lovely to be hidden behind packaging, in which case, don’t hesitate

to hand it over unfettered by adornment. 7. Instead of just dumping large boxes and bubble wrap in the bin, recycle them as wrapping. And now that you’ve saved a tree or two, know that you’ve also saved some money.

Visit www.greenelephantcollective.co.za to see more local, green design with a purely South African aesthetic.


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November 2011

“In my world, on my maps, there are no country boundaries, only cities. It’s about turning the world on its head and putting Cape Town where she belongs – on top of the world.” Andre Vorster

My Cape Town: Photos : Caroline Jordan and Bruce Sutherland, City of Cape Town

Andre Vorster

If you drew a line all the way from the cableway – through the city and the stadium – all the way to Robben Island, your line would be running due south-north and Cape Town would be one big compass. You’d also be seeing the city as artist, architect and ceramicist Andre Vorster sees it. That’s why he started Cape Town on Top of the World – a concept, a marketing campaign, an arts exhibition and a T-shirt range. CV Could you tell us a little more about Cape Town on Top of the World? The idea came to me about 30 years ago when I saw a neighbour’s shirt on the washing line. It had a picture of the world on it, and the world was upside down. Ever since then I’ve been turning my maps around, drawing that image of Cape Town the right way up. It’s how I see the world, how I orientate myself. Now, when I watch the weather report, I think, ‘Hey, that’s the wrong way round!’ In my world, on my maps, there are no country boundaries, only cities. It’s about turning the world on its head and putting Cape Town where she belongs – on top of the world.

Straatwerk has job rehabilitation projects for men and women. 021 425 0140 The Haven’s vision is to get the homeless home. 021 425 4700 The Homestead provides residential care and family integration for boys. 021 461 7470

CV Tell us about Cape Town as one big compass. My city connects all the way from my home in Devil’s Peak to Evita in Darling and Sandy Bay where I sometimes walk my dogs. I love exploring the city on foot, walking through the Company’s Garden, to the National Gallery, to those landmarks on maps that are not always commercialised. You see, I’m petrified of suburbia – those places you can wear tracksuit pants to the shop – and I hate malls. The city is where it’s happening and it’s better than any mall. CV Where do you find your inspiration? The mountain – it’s such a fantastic asset. I walk it twice a day with my two pugs, Moffie and Dyke. It’s

Ons Plek provides residential care while undertaking reunification process for girls. 021 465 4829 The Carpenters Shop provides rehabilitation services and skills training for adults. 021 461 5508 Salesian Institute Youth Projects provide education, skills training and rehabilitation to vulnerable youth. 021 425 1450

our mountain. I also take them in the cable car, and I know the mountain routes like the back of my hand. I once met this Taiwanese visitor at a local bar, whose father had given him a map of the 12 wonders of the world when he was little, and one of them was Table Mountain. Ever since then it’d been his life’s dream to come visit. So he saved and saved, and eventually a two-day holiday was all he could afford. It was entirely cloudy those two days, and the cableway wasn’t running. I met him on the night he was leaving. He was so sad! I understand that. You know, sometimes I wake up in the morning not knowing I got up at night and drew images of the mountain. It’s my muse.

CV You’ve lived in the city a long time. Could you tell us how it’s changed? The city’s transformation has not been as slow as one thinks: Joburg Bar recently had an exhibition of what Long Street was like 10 years ago. It was like watching a history programme! My Long Street days are over, but it’s been fascinating watching it go through transformation over the years. Now there’s all these cool rooftop bars going up, like that one in Longmarket Street, above Dear Me – Tjing Tjing Bar – where you can get a perspective on the city you normally wouldn’t get, see all the old Victorian rooftops. Ten years ago that didn’t happen. Ten or so years ago, there were like five bars and clubs in town. Now I have to go exploring to find what’s in my own city. It’s great!

CV You’ve lived in New York and London. How does Cape Town compare? The difference is we’ve got this huge natural wonder. London has the Thames and Hyde Park, Manhattan is an island and has Central Park, but we’ve got this incredible 3D landmass. Cape Town’s unlike anywhere else in the world. It’s also a new city, still – and growing into a new identity. There’s very interesting stuff happening. Now we have to stop and relook: where to next? CV What’s your wish for Cape Town in 2014 and beyond? As an architect what’d I’d really like to address properly is the water issue. The mountain’s like one big sponge and we should have big reservoirs along the base collect-

ing all the water, which we can then use in summer. I’d love to see that environmental thinking used in our urban design. We’d save a lot of money that way, collecting the water. That’s why Caron von Zeil’s Reclaim Camissa project is so incredible. Did you know that if the all the ice in the world melted and Cape Town went under water, we could float the stadium like an ark and it would fit perfectly between the unfinished highways? If that happened we could put all the people of Cape Town in, two by two (including two pugs). But I’d prefer if we didn’t have to. You can buy your Cape Town on Top of the World T-shirt from www.ontopoftheworld.co.za or at the Cape Town Framer in Mandela Rhodes Place.

Many children and young adults living on the streets have severe drug addiction problems. More often than not, the money they receive from begging is used to buy their next “fix”. The CCID therefore requests that members of the public do not give money or handouts directly. If you would like to help, please contact one of the listed organisations mentioned. Contact the Central City Improvement District’s (CCID’s) Social Development Department for further information or assistance.

Pat 021 419 1881 | Dean 082 928 3862 Headman Sirala-Rala 082 262 0113 Mark Williams 082 262 0112

www.capetownpartnership.co.za


City Views November 2011