Can design shape identity, health and housing?

(By Marko Petrik/Future Cape Town). Read part 1 of this write-up, “Design alone cannot save the city” here.  On the 29th August 2013, Future Cape Town attended the Designing Democracy Seminar, held as part of the Open Design Cape Town Event. The event was hosted by DESIGNING_SOUTHAFRICA, and aimed to challenge creative professionals and specialists […]

Design alone cannot save the city

On the 29th August 2013, Future Cape Town attended the Designing Democracy Seminar, held as part of the Open Design Cape Town Event. The event was hosted by DESIGNING_SOUTHAFRICA, and aimed to challenge creative professionals and specialists in other fields to engage in developing creative solutions and strategies for shaping a just, equitable, resilient and […]

Wescape: privatising the profits and socialising the risks?

The City of Cape Town recently approved an application to move the approved urban edge to accommodate a 200,000-home residential and commercial development called “Wescape”.  The application, and the City’s approval, has generated enormous debate and numerous parties have opposed the proposal on various planning and economic-related grounds. Notwithstanding these objections, the question that needs […]

The future of cities?

(Cross-posted from Future Cape Town). The Future of Cities from Nicolas Siegenthaler on Vimeo. We’re urbanising at over 1 million people a week! What does this mean for tomorrow’s cities? How will people, businesses and governments cope? Every two months, the equivalent of a New York metropolitan sprouts up due to the rate the world […]

The Langrug Wash Facility: a new common space for the community

Langrug is an effervescent informal settlement that was illegally formed in 1993; this settlement is located in the most affluent farm area called Franschhoek, outside of Stellenbosch. Beyond the lavish hills and wine lands lies Langrug providing affordable housing to seasonal farm workers who work on the vineyards surrounding Stellenbosch.  The settlement is characterised by […]

Making the case for African cities

In my previous two blog posts (“Visions of African urban futures yet to come” and “Where can we find alternative African futures?”) I have argued that we need to reinvigorate a vision of what African urban areas are, and could be. I further argued that, in order to gain inspiration for alternative African urban futures, […]

How affordable is “affordable housing?”

Cross-posted from MuST blog at Slum Dwellers International Muungano wa Wanavijiji has been mobilizing and positioning saving schemes groups within its umbrella on the concept of collective group savings to spur up housing development and upgrading. In efforts geared to empower the structural development framework of the federation in addressing the needs of the poor, […]

Fluid notions of home in Tshwane’s inner city

The notion of adequate housing and of a ‘home’ is a multidimensional concept that takes into account personal, social, economic, physical and ideological aspects of what a ‘home’ means to an individual. The understanding of ‘homelessness’ and ‘houselessness’ has, universally, been borrowed from the Western perspective. It suggests that a person is ‘homeless’ when he […]

Accra’s Mmofra Foundation puts children at the center of public space design

“Mmofra means children,” explains Amowi Phillips of the Mmofra Foundation, giving the backstory on the children’s park that unfolds around us. Overhead, the gray sky and the sprinkle of droplets threaten rain, but here below we’re in an expansive green space full of life and activity. She takes me around the two-acre green plot of […]

NGOs and knowledge generation in the urban context

The world of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) keeps expanding daily as governments both from the ‘North’ and the ‘South’ shrink in their ability to provide basic social services. The global financial crisis which started half a decade ago has had a profound effect not only on governments but also the NGO sector. NGOs have become more […]