July 27, 2011
World Design Capital 2014 Bid sheds light on Cape Town Nature by Design
As one of three finalist cities in the World Design Capital 2014 bid, Cape Town is stepping up the race to become World Design Capital 2014. In this city packed to the brim with natural beauty, it’s no coincidence that nature and design frequently meet. Be inspired by some of these examples of Cape Town’s nature – by design:
Durbanville Rose Garden
The Durbanville Rose Garden may be lesser known than most other Cape Town garden attractions but its extensive 3.5ha garden includes 500 rose varieties and 4 500 rose bushes, as well as trial beds used by international nurseries to test new rose species.
Edith Stephens Wetland Park
The Edith Stephens Wetland Park is about 39ha in size and has been in existence since 1955. The park is covered with wetland vegetation and several rare plant species, and there is a vlei that encourages varied birdlife - best seen during the winter months between July and September. The Edith Stephens Wetland Park showcases the natural biodiversity of the Cape Flats, while providing a public space for local communities.
Green Point Urban Park
Green Point Urban Park is a multi-purpose 12.5ha park that is open seven days a week. Green Point Urban Park encompasses a recreation area called the Green Point Park, a reconstructed golf course, and an area for exhibitions, craft markets and events. The FIFA Fan mile, constructed for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, connects heritage sites within the CBD with Green Point Urban Park via the famed 2.6km fan walk down Somerset Road.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is a 528ha botanical paradise and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of the Cape Floristic Region. Kirstenbosch is home to more than 22 000 indigenous plants (or fynbos) from different South African habitats, including many rare and threatened species. The Garden is also home to occasional art exhibitions and the annual series of Old Mutual Summer Sunset Concerts.
Life Sciences Building rooftop, University of the Western Cape (UWC)
The Life Sciences Building at the University of the Western Cape in Bellville boasts one of the few rooftop landscapes in Cape Town. This roof garden provides an educational space as an extension of UWC classrooms and laboratories. Indigenous, mostly endemic, succulents were planted as they do not need deep soil, and are drought resistant, low-growing and mat-forming, allowing them to survive harsh weather conditions.
Rondevlei Nature Reserve
Rondevlei Nature Reserve is another of Cape Town’s eco-experience offerings of a wetland and lake. It is home to almost 230 bird species, reptiles, mammals and a small hippopotamus population, as well as threatened indigenous plant (fynbos) species endemic to the Western Cape.
Tsoga Environmental Centre
The Tsoga Environmental Centre is based in Langa, a local township, and provides environmental education and training for the local community in projects such as food gardens, recycling and street cleaning. The eco-friendly building houses a recycling centre, a small garden market and crafts made from waste material such as plastic bags.
Vergelegen Wine Estate
Three hundred years after the creation of Vergelegen by one of Cape Town’s first settlers, Simon Van der Stel, the estate’s exquisitely laid-out grounds continue to produce wines of exceptional quality, and its giant oak trees and exceptional layout of varying gardens continue to attract visitors.