01/DESIGNING CAPE TOWN vuvuzelas
So the new images are of people – blowing , wearing makarapas, costumed in wigs, flags and oversized sunglasses, celebrating, mingling and enjoying themselves. And they’re doing this in urban spaces, in restaurants, pubs, public squares, whole city roads, using trains and buses. Whatever the impact of the FIFA World Cup, one result has been that citizens of Cape Town have been reintroduced to their city. But Cape Town, home to 3.4 million people, is – like many cities the world over – grappling with meeting the needs of a burgeoning urban population, together with creating an environment for the investment and business development needed to fuel the economic growth that must support them. Cities that work are sustainable ones, that prioritise people – their engagement with the city and their connection and ease of access to opportunities for work, services, education and cultural and leisure activities. Issues of proximity to these opportunities and public transport are therefore key; and densification, intensification of use and vibrant public spaces are critical aspects of urban design and development. Apartheid social engineering turned Cape Town into a sprawling city where the majority of citizens were (and still are) cut off from each other, from resources and opportunities. A huge housing backlog, unemployment, poverty and unequal access to education and health services are just some of the challenges facing the city. What, you may wonder, does this have to do with design? Everything really. Employing design thinking and processes in addressing Cape Town’s challenges is critical if we want to create a future city that is sustainable and fair. 10
TOP The Grand Parade was the key official fan park during the World Cup, with the Cape Town City Hall gaining iconic prominence in the process. 560 000 people used this fan park to enjoy the soccer and an entertainment programme. OPPOSITE It’s the fans that make a World Cup special. Cape Town showed its party colours with locals and international fans turning up in large numbers to make and experience the vibe in the streets of the city. First time visitors were inspired by the energy and warmth of locals around the country.