Lessons from Cape Town: creative collaboration
This April I had the opportunity to share lessons from Cape Town at The London Summit of Leaders, where city representatives from around the world – Angola, Bangladesh, Barbados, China, Denmark, Qatar, Germany, Indonesia, Turkey and others – debated some of the most complex issues related to the management of cities in an age of accelerating urbanisation.
In preparation for the Summit, I was again reminded that when it comes to inner city regeneration, Cape Town has many lessons to share with the world. Within a decade after the establishment of the Cape Town Partnership and the Central City Improvement District in 1999, Cape Town’s central city had undergone a total turnaround, become one of the cleanest and safest in the country. Crime has dropped by 50% and today 74% of people say they feel safe in the CBD.
The Cape Town Partnership’s role was to bring the private and the public sectors together to find workable solutions in creating a safe, clean and high-quality environment in which to work, play, study and live. And what we have learnt is that a shared vision, coupled with a sense of urgency, can bring partners together in a powerful way. Read my thoughts on the topic.
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- Explore the topic of co-creating Cape Town in our latest newsletter.
A few months ago, the streets of Cape Town were turned upside down by the lively public art festival, Infecting the City. This First Thursday (8 May), Capetonians have taken the festival’s cue, and will continue to nurture a sense of wonder in the ordinary, shared spaces of the city.
A highlight of my daily drive into the Cape Town CBD is the sight of school children walking to their morning classes. (Tens of thousands of scholars and students come to the city centre each day, many of them travelling from township to town via public transport.) I see them, on the way to my office on Bree, at the corner of Waterkant Street, as they make a beeline from the Cape Town Station to the pedestrian bridge on the Fan Walk, en route to schools in Green Point and Sea Point.