In a few days, Cape Town will know whether it will be awarded the title of World Design Capital 2014. Cape Town is a finalist along with two other world cities, Dublin and Bilbao.
A high-level delegation, led by Executive Mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille, is heading to Taipei for the official announcement of the winning city, taking place on the final day of the International Design Alliance (IDA) Congress on October 26, 2011.
The delegation includes Councillor Grant Pascoe, Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Marketing; Jo-Ann Johnston, Chief Director of Economic Development and Tourism, PGWC; Alderman Conrad Sidego, Mayor of Stellenbosch Municipality; Andrew Boraine, CEO of the Cape Town Partnership; Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana, MD of the Cape Town Partnership; Skye Grove, Communications Manager of Cape Town Tourism; Michael Wolf, Chairperson of the Cape Town Design Network; and Luyanda Mpahlwa, leading architect and World Design Capital Bid Committee Member.
Executive Mayor De Lille said in her most recent weekly newsletter: “I will be traveling to Taipei for the result, proudly representing the first African city to reach this stage of the process. On the face of it, it is a tremendous opportunity for Cape Town to demonstrate how we are using innovation to address the challenges of our past and the inevitable challenges of our future.
“But there is something deeper that this process represents. For the first time, those who would celebrate excellence in design and foster it turn to a city from the developing world. This has historic significance, to be sure. But more importantly, it has an unmistakable significance for the future.”
The bi-annual World Design Capital designation recognizes cities that use design for social, economic, and cultural transformation. Cape Town’s bid outlines a vision to create an inclusive city for all by embedding design thinking in its urban development plans. It also showcases design innovation in Stellenbosch, taking the bid beyond the city borders.
The Cape Town Partnership (CTP) has been responsible for managing the World Design Capital Bid on behalf of the City of Cape Town with the theme, “Live Design. Transform Life.”
Said Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana, MD of the Cape Town Partnership: “Cape Town’s World Design Capital bid has gained widespread public and private sector support, as can be seen by the makeup of the delegation that is heading to Taipei. This bid is about design as a tool for social and economic development.”
Past World Design Capital winners have also seen increased visitor numbers as a result of the title. Torino, Italy, World Design Capital for 2008, reported higher visitor numbers in their title year – which coincided with the global economic downturn – than in 2006, when they hosted the Winter Olympics.
Said Councillor Grant Pascoe: “Unlike mega events, which can result in marked tourism peaks and troughs, World Design Capital has the potential to deliver sustained visitor numbers throughout the title year, through a series of design-led events over the course of 12 months. The title also does not require any infrastructural investment, but is an opportunity to leverage our World Cup infrastructure.”
The Taipei announcement will also be closely followed in Cape Town. The Cape Town Design Network (CTDN) will be hosting two announcement events in The Fringe innovation district – a pre-announcement party at The Assembly on the evening of Tuesday, October 25, by invitation; and an early-morning live screening of the announcement on Wednesday, October 26 at the Field Office. The results are anticipated to be announced at around 0600 Cape Town time and the Field Office will be open to the public from 0530.
Said Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette Du Toit-Helmbold: “The World Design Capital announcement comes at a crucial time. Urban tourism holds great opportunity for Cape Town. Cape Town Tourism has just launched an innovative marketing campaign incorporating more than just beauty and natural assets. It is based on a believable, shared destination identity that frames Cape Town’s creativity and complexity and tells the full story of our inspirational city. We’ll definitely be showing our support for Cape Town’s World Design Capital bid by wearing yellow.”
Extracts from the Cape Town World Design Capital 2014 Bid Book are available at www.capetown2014.co.za .
Other platforms for support include a Facebook page: Cape Town for World Design Capital, a Twitter feed: CapeTown2014, and the Twitter hash tag: #WDC2014.