Cape Town shortlisted as one of the final three for World Design Capital 2014

Cape Town has been shortlisted for the World Design Capital 2014. From a team of 56 hopefuls, Cape Town now stands alongside just two other world cities – Dublin (Ireland) and Bilbao (Spain) – in the race to earn the World Design Capital title. 

Being named a World Design Capital bears a prestigious status. The title is designated biennially by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (CSID) to cities that are dedicated to using design for social, cultural and economic development.

The announcement is pivotal for Cape Town’s reputation as a destination that has adopted design for transformation and social cohesion. Design as a principle for changing lives began with the end of apartheid and, increasingly, has become a guiding philosophy in the repositioning of Cape Town as a sustainable city; a city committed to a journey to improve the quality of life of all its citizens.

Cape Town Tourism greeted the news with great enthusiasm. Says Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold: “This is a significant moment for Cape Town. Our shortlisting is an acknowledgement that design is an asset and a massive catalyst to align creative sectors across the city.

“Many people associate Cape Town with our beautiful natural surrounds but design and innovation is leading the way for us to become a city that people are increasingly choosing to explore and discover from an urban context. More than half the world’s population lives in cities and urban tourism dominates the international tourism landscape; over 70% of international tourism spend occurs in urban areas. 

“Cities are incubators of innovation and ideas, epicentres of modern, living culture. Design is increasingly becoming a fundamental tool to ensure that Cape Town is more competitive, liveable and efficient. Cape Town’s position as innovation hub sets us apart from any other South African and African city. As Cape Town moves into the future, we are convinced that it will become an ever more exciting place to live in, work in and visit.”

Continues Du Toit-Helmbold: “Design is one of the fundamental pillars of the positioning of Cape Town as a place of inspiration. As with the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, the bid process has given us a common platform to elevate Cape Town’s place on the world stage. We urge all Capetonians to get behind the bid. Citizen support and ownership will be the key to our success.”

The story at the heart of Cape Town’s bid theme is about the city’s use of design to overturn the negative legacies of its colonial and apartheid past that saw design dividing people, disconnecting the city, and relegating both people of colour and the urban poor to its fringes. This denied these people equitable access to resources and opportunities, not least the opportunity of making their own contributions to a better city. It also made the country a pariah in the eyes of the world, and excluded it from many opportunities to engage in the globalising economy.

At a handover ceremony of the World Design Capital 2014 BBook from City to Provincial hands. Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille commented on the accolade: “We are building an inclusive city, one based around five pillars: The opportunity city, the safe city, the caring city, the inclusive city and the efficient city. Design is a tool for all of these areas of transformation. It is able to inform us as to how we can best provide employment and upliftment to improve the quality of life of our citizens.”

With predecessors such as Seoul, Korea (2010) and Helsinki, Finland (2012), proving that living design can in fact transform lives, Cape Town’s status as a top-three contender shifts the city onto a new world platform and into a new era.

The Cape Town Partnership (who has been mandated to manage the bid), the City of Cape Town and Cape Town Tourism will now host a delegation of World Design Capital 2014 judges in the city between July 10 to 24, 2011. An important stage in the process, this is when the content of the bid book and the city’s priorities, in terms of design as a tool for social transformation, will tread its proving ground. The World Design Capital 2014 winner will be announced on October 26, 2011.

Extracts from the Cape Town World Design Capital 2014 Bid Book are available on www.capetown2014.co.za and case studies for design in Cape Town can be viewed at http://www.capetown2014.co.za/gallery/

Follow on the Facebook page Cape Town for World Design Capital or the Twitter feeds @CreativeCT or @CapeTownTourism.

Order a custom copy of the book through the Cape Town Partnership on +27 (0)21 419 1881.

ENDS

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