Cape Town’s City Hall: past and present

Cape Town City Hall, photo by Lisa Burnell

Presiding over the Grand Parade for over century, the City Hall has been witness to many changes – physically, socially and politically – in the city. Its role as seat of local government has changed over the years to include the Central Library and the traffic courts. It also serves as a place for cultural expression through the events that it hosts. City Views’ Alma Viviers explores its many faces and phases. Continued…

July 17, 2013

Posted in African Cities, Featured, History & Memory, Spaces, Stories.

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Being the change in Cape Town


There is a quote, often attributed to Gandhi, that goes: “Be the change you want to see in the world”. City Views’ Ambre Nicolson spoke to just a few of the many Capetonians who have started projects to improve their own communities, to discover what happens when these words are taken literally. Continued…

July 15, 2013

Posted in Community, Featured, Spaces, Stories.

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Open Streets: A lesson in owning public spaces

Open Streets Cape Town Observatory

In just one week since Open Streets took place in Lower Main Road, Observatory on Africa Day, nearly 400 pictures have been shared on the Open Streets Facebook page, multiple blog posts have been published and every major newspaper in Cape Town has covered the event in some way. Continued…

May 30, 2013

Posted in Community, Creative, Experience, Experience Town, Featured, News, Public Places, Spaces, Stories.

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Urban soul: Fred Kent on the power of people-driven placemaking

Fred Kent of PPS speaks in Cape Town, photo by Lisa Burnell

During a visit to Cape Town in May 2013, renowned public space thinker Fred Kent explained how a “lighter, quicker, cheaper” approach to placemaking can transform our city’s public spaces. Continued…

May 30, 2013

Posted in African Cities, Featured, News, Public Places, Spaces, Stories.

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Africa Day 2013: Opportunities to be an active citizen

Grassy Park Open Streets_20121021_Bruce Sutherland (5)

On 25 May, the world celebrates Africa Day. In Cape Town, the day sees a new wave of citizen activism taking hold in the Mother City, with civil society reclaiming the right to cultural production, to public spaces and the right to express themselves and their creativity. Continued…

May 24, 2013

Posted in African Cities, Community, Creative, Experience Town, Featured, Spaces, Stories, Success Stories.

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Stop waiting, start making: Lessons in liveability from Jeanne van Heeswijk

Jeanne van Heeswijk

Based in Rotterdam, Jeanne van Heeswijk is a visual artist who creates situations in public places to provoke interactions between members of the public. These provocations include talking to trees, arranging fashion marches and baking bread, but all are aimed at setting up opportunities for new encounters and dialogue – in a way is finely tuned to the subtlety of needs, desires and ambitions of a local people and place. Jeanne presented some of her work at Design Indaba 2013. Here she shares more of her thoughts on public engagement, gentrification and the value of co-production:


April 2, 2013

Posted in African Cities, Creative, Creativity, Events, Featured, Spaces, Stories.

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Open Streets gains momentum in Cape Town

Open Streets Walk and Talk down Woodstock. Photo by Marcela Guerrero Casas

Open Streets Cape Town recently held its second walk-and-talk along Albert Road in Woodstock. Over 30 members of the community, city officials, cyclists and street activists came together to walk along a portion of this important thoroughfare and discuss ways in which it could become a more people-friendly space. Continued…

March 22, 2013

Posted in African Cities, Experience Town, Featured, Green, Mobility, News, News, Safety & Security, Social Development, Spaces, Transport, Urban management.

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Housing: temporary intervention vs permanent solution

Green Shack prototype at Design Indaba 2013

Informal settlements are a common reality in Cape Town and South Africa’s urban landscape. Dire living conditions are the backdrop to the lack of services like proper sanitation and refuse removal, clean water, public health initiatives, adequate safety and access to economic opportunity. Shack fires regularly rip through these informal settlements, taking lives, ravaging homes and destroying earthly possessions. During the rainy season families are flooded out of their homes into temporary housing, in conditions exacerbated by Cape Town’s icy winters. These familiar experiences have become a regular feature in a country that has collectively failed to address the issue of dignified housing for all.


March 13, 2013

Posted in African Cities, Developments, Featured, Green, Housing, News, Social Development, Spaces, Stories.

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The community stories behind Cape Town Carnival

Charlene Constables, together with a range of musicians, create the rhythm and vibe of the event.

The Cape Town Carnival doesn’t only bring people together on the day of the parade. Behind the costumes and colourful floats, it also sets an example of how a single annual event can help build communities all year round. Continued…

March 10, 2013

Posted in African Cities, Community, Creative, Events, Experience, Experience Town, Featured, News, Public Places, Spaces, Stories, Success Stories, Urban management.

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What museums can mean to us and Cape Town

Rooksana Omar

Iziko Museums of South Africa’s CEO Rooksana Omar – who has been in her position just over two years – tells why museums matter and which spaces inspire her in Cape Town. City Views‘ Ambre Nicolson spoke to her. Continued…

March 6, 2013

Posted in African Cities, Community, Featured, News, Programmes, Social Development, Spaces, Urban management.

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