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July 04, 2011

Name Your Hood


Photo courtesy Skye Grove

As the old Bard once asked,”What’s in a name?”

Well, with the newly launched Name Your Hood project, a name means plenty for neighbourhoods in the Mother City.

The brainchild of local businessmen Bruce Good and Nic Lamond, Name Your Hood (NYH) was launched at an impressive event held at the Freeworld Design Centre in the city centre on Wednesday June 29, 2011.

The event, which featured entertainment by Just Jinger’s frontman Ard Matthews, was attended by a large gathering of celebrities, creatives, members of the city’s marketing body, Cape Town Tourism and its collaborative organisation, Cape Town Partnership, amongst others.

The NYH concept was introduced to the audience through a series of funky videos, which featured fantastic visuals of the city, and a discussion panel featuring Bruce Good, CEO of NYH; Mariëtte Du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism; Bulelwa Makalima- Ngewana, managing director of Cape Town Partnership and Mokena Makeka, managing director of Makeka Design Lab, whose respective organisations are involved in and supportive of the project.

Aimed at making the Mother City easier to navigate, as well as inspiring a sense of unity in its neighbourhoods, the NYH concept came to Good while he was studying in New York City and saw the effectiveness of the creatively named areas there.

By renaming our “hoods”, we can erase the remnants of the apartheid legacy which gave derogatory names to the low-income areas, which helped to perpetuate the ill-conceived notions that these neighbourhoods were unsafe to visit and to live in.

When asked if NYH will encourage people to investigate the city, Du Toit-Helmbold replied, “We must explore our local identity and that means exploring what is beyond the familiar. We must encourage our citizens to love and live in our city.”

Says Makeka, who helped to establish the NYH grid,”If you want to understand how people interact, you must create a neighbourhood that works for them. It’s time to make your township sexy!”

That same concept that can be applied to all of Cape Town’s vibrant neighbourhoods.

Let’s explore the Name Your Hood project further and how it works:

What is the Name Your Hood (NYH) project?

The NYH project aims to do for Cape Town what the names of iconic neighbourhoods have done for well known cities around the globe. When you think of Mayfair and Soho, you instantly recognise them as being parts of the legendary cities of Manhattan and London.

With the NYH project, Capetonians are encouraged to explore the Mother City, get to know each and every neighbourhood intimately, find out what makes them tick and think of creative names that accurately describe them.

The names should characterise and define these neighbourhoods. By choosing a name together, citizens will experience a sense of unity and create a legacy.

This innovative project is supported by key stakeholders, including Cape Town Tourism, Cape Town Partnership, Accelerate Cape Town and Wesgro, as well as local businesses Pam Golding Properties, Mr Delivery, Groupon and Vida e Caffè.

How does it work?

For the first part of this campaign, names are being sought for the trendy areas around Upper Kloof Street and Bree Street. So it’s time to get our thinking caps on!

For three weeks, from July 4, name suggestions will be submitted to a judging panel, consisting of architects, planners, musicians, local celebrities and historians via the Name Your Hood website (www.nameyourhood.co.za) or at voting stations at participating stores throughout the city. Once the panel has selected a shortlist of names, the winner will be chosen by the public via online and SMS voting.

What are the desired outcomes of the Name Your Hood initiative?

When the new names of the neighbourhoods have been chosen, they will be included in new maps of the city, which will be distributed with the help of Cape Town Tourism and Cape Town Partnership.

An interactive website for each new neighbourhood, featuring information, business directories, travel information, community news and more, will also be created to sustain interest.

For more information about the Name Your Hood project, please visit www.nameyourhood.co.za.


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