How can Cape Town’s city centre welcome a future where increasingly more people will be drawn to it? Tasso Evangelinos, of the Central City Improvement District, discusses this in his introduction to October’s City Views.
As a thriving city centre in Africa – and the safest and cleanest major CBD in the country – Cape Town Central City continues to attract people from all over the continent seeking new opportunities and a better life. Given the rising rates of urbanisation across the continent, this trend is set to continue well into the next few decades (it is estimated that up to 60% of Africa will be living in cities and their immediate surrounds by 2050).
What can we do to in the Central City to welcome this increasingly urban future? We will need to make safe and reliable public transportation into the CBD more accessible to more users – something our City’s integrated rapid transport plan is already addressing (see page 5 for more details). Connecting town and township, and connecting people to opportunity, is vital – and so we’re excited to promote the newly-announced MyCiTi connection between Khayelitsha and the city centre, set to be up and running by 2014.
We will need to gear our economy for solid growth that results in increased job opportunities. In this issue we speak with a number of African entrepreneurs working in the CBD to get their take on how to make it in the Mother City (page 4). We also look at some of the possible ways to work with migration more strategically in order to integrate the many skilled workers that have come into our city from abroad (page 3). We also interview two top city thinkers on the role that arts and culture play in making Cape Town Central City a more welcoming, user-friendly space (pages 8 and 9).
As the CCID we take our role in helping facilitate this future face of Cape Town very seriously. The shift to being a much more cycle-friendly city where people choose to commute via bicycle (see pages 6 and 7 for examples) will not be possible if our streets are not welcoming – nor will the cosmopolitan culture Cape Town is known for thrive if we do not care for everyone who makes use of the streets, from those who live on them (see page 4 for details about our Give Responsibly awareness drive) to those who invest in them (read page 11 to find out what one investor is set to unveil in Wale Street).
Finally, October is also the month in which we find out whether Cape Town will be World Design Capital 2014 – a decision to be announced in Taipei on 26 October 2011. Cape Town’s World Design Capital bid, coordinated by my colleagues at the Cape Town Partnership, is focused on design as a tool for urban transformation and reintegration. And win or lose, I am excited to be a part of designing the future of this city – with them and with you.