Cape Town: enhancing a natural beauty, by design

2014-03-05 10:50

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Cape Town is a city that hides behind its natural beauty. While we can’t deny its striking, charming nature, we have to take a deeper look at some of its design aesthetics.

The design of a city, and by design we mean, the roads, the buildings and how they work together, not only need to be slick and sustainable, but also need to contribute to making the lives of its citizens better.

The Urban Design and Liveability tour which is part of the World Design Capital programme and is headed up by Future Cape Town is exactly the kind that makes you ask and validate specific questions around the design of a city.

You may also want to read - What does it mean to be a World Design Capital

Let’s talk about transport

By thinking about Cape Town and its transport system, do you think it is useful and sustainable?

The tour began on Buitengracht Street on the Fan Walk, and the director of Future Cape Town, Rashiq Fataar, encouraged dialogue between tour participants. “Congestion will increase in Cape Town,” said Fataar. While Cape Town has Metrorail, taxis and a Bus Rapid Transit system called MyCiti, a great way to get around the city is by cycling.

There’s only one problem: The city is not entirely cyclist friendly as yet.

While there are many areas that have been designed for cycling, this could be improved and this could assist in clamping down on traffic congestion.

The use of alternative transport (which many people are already doing) can assist in this too. Cities such as the Netherlands are doing it big in term of finding alternative ways to travel in and around the city. Click here to read more about Netherlands transport system.

(Dudu Luthuli, News24 Travel)

Eco friendly design

Have you ever thought about ways in which office buildings work together with recreational areas in the CBD to create a harmonious space?

What about buildings that not only look great, but benefit the environment as well?

The ways in which buildings are designed and structured have an influence in the functionality of a city. Buildings can either work with or against an environment.

Did you know that Cape Town is one of the most sprawled out cities in Africa? Due to Acts headed by the Apartheid government back in the day, the Urban Sprawl of Cape Town, is one that has caused a disconnect with the CBD and surrounding areas of Cape Town.

A series of projects that aim to not only bridge the “design divide” but to also create eco-friendly and sustainable environments within the city have been created.  Two projects stand out:

One project is aimed at re-birthing the original use of The Company’s Garden by establishing a food garden and creating not only a visitor attraction, but an educational resource as well. The other project, called the Solar Sculpturing project is a year-long project which aims to use photovoltaic solar materials to harness the sun’s energy to turn public art into a community hotspot and energy zone.

This is where the concept of Urban Design can save the day, and bring in more of a connected network.

(Dudu Luthuli, News24 Travel)

Design, connectivity and economy

Bree street is fast becoming a popular area with great hybrid businesses such as I Love My Laundry and great new restaurants like Laparada.

While Bree street is mainly a corporate business block, there are businesses that have popped up with the aim of catering to the needs of the corporate clientele. But what happens to those businesses when that clientele disappears on weekends? These are some of the questions we as the participants of the tour were left to think about.

We also had to think about the fact that design is something that can help businesses become more sustainable. How? By finding ways to link Bree street to the rest of Cape Town. This is where one can see how design affects every other area, because finding sustainable and practical ways around making Bree Street work, involves looking at transport, design and the environment.

You may also want to check out these

key World Design Capital events or experience the WDC2014 for free

Design and Urban Renewal

One way to look at the ways in which conceptualisation and design has the power to change a city, is by looking at the development in Woodstock, Cape Town

. What was once a rundown area is now a bustling business, social and creative hub. Places such as the Old Biscuit Mill have found alternative uses to contribute to city activities ( think of the Neighbourgoods Market)


Get involved

The Urban Design and Liveability tour ultimately reminded me of something very important – as taxpaying citizens, we have the right to be involved in our city in every way – that includes finding out about building developments (ie, the expansion of the CTICC) and to also be aware of the happenings of our city.

You can be an active citizen by engaging in dialogues with not only the City of Cape Town, but the World Design Capital Initiative and Future Cape Town.

Future Cape Town is still currently holding tours, with the next tour taking place on the 6 March 2014, which is titled:  City Design and Architecture. For more information, click here.

Also Join the News24 Travel community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest for travel news, stories, pics and events.

Read more on:    world design capital  |  tour  |  cape town  |  travel

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
SHARE: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel


#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.