Cape Town for World Design Capital 2014: Putting South Africa back on the map

Cape Town has been announced as one of three finalists in the race to be World Design Capital 2014, selected from 56 cities in 24 countries. The title is bestowed biennially by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design to cities that are dedicated to using design for social, cultural and economic development. This accolade is critical for Cape Town’s reputation as a city and destination which has adopted design for transformation and social cohesion.

Similar to the hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, winning the World Design Capital title would put the Mother City, South Africa and even Africa on the global map once again, albeit in a different light. But for Cape Town specifically, the bidding process and shortlisting of our city for this achievement has created – and will continue to increase – awareness and visibility of the city in the lead-up to the final announcement. So, even if we don’t win the title, Cape Town can’t lose!

The city has been assessed and plans are afoot for its sustainable, safe and inclusive future. It inspired World Design Capital judges with its current and future blueprint, its creative industries and its potential for urban art and expression.

The creation of the Design Bid Book in itself proved to be an important exercise in raising the profile of design as a major contributor to the repositioning of Cape Town. The city has been predominantly known as a leisure destination, but this image is being consciously shifted towards a more inclusive brand based on Cape Town’s leisure, business, creative and knowledge economies.

With more awareness amongst the creative and design sectors from across the world (especially if we are awarded the title!) Cape Town will attract creatives of all kinds, as well as great business and investment opportunities.

Design can change people’s lives with its ability to transform things, communities and mindsets. The intention of the World Design Capital title is to honour the winning city’s different design aspects and assist in its social, cultural and economic development through awareness and a yearlong series of design-orientated partnerships and programmes.

In the words of Bid Book committee member and Cape Town Partnership managing director, Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana: “Through the World Design Capital bid process we have ensured a very prominent link between design and city development in Cape Town. So, even if we don’t win this time, we can’t lose in the long run.”

Cape Town will host a delegation of World Design Capital 2014 judges between July 10 and 24 July. The winner will be announced on October 26, 2011 in Taipei, Taiwan. Learn more by visiting the Cape Town World Design Capital website and download your badge in support of this city’s bid.

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