Cape Town - WDC 2014

Illustration Le Cap WDC2014

World Design Capital 2014



Cape Town




33°55′31″S, 18°25′26″E


Western Cap


400,28 km2 (2 445 km2 - metropolitan area)


433 688 inh. (3 740 026 inh. - metropolitan area)


1 083 inh./km2 (1 530 hab./km2 inh. - metropolitan area)

Carte Le Cap

Cape Town, the oldest city in South Africa, was also the first African city to be designated World Design Capital® 2014. Faced with multiple challenges in terms of planning and development, the choice to become involved in design projects and approaches enabled the city and its residents to devise new solutions.


Through the theme “Live Design - Transform Lives”, Cape Town developed numerous projects and participative initiatives enabling the municipality to take better decisions to improve the everyday life of its citizens.


Thousands of people were impacted and involved in over 460 projects held throughout the design year. These projects included:

WARD PROJECTS – The “Ward projects” used design as a tool to involve the local community. Forty co-design workshops covering 80 of the 111 wards (local districts) in Cape Town looked at design through art, the role of parks and gardens, and ways to integrate a new business district in the city.

INTERNATIONAL DESIGN CENTRE EXHIBITION – The “Transforming Cities” exhibition presented initiatives from various foreign cities such as Paris, Dublin, Taipei, Accra, Qingdao, Seoul or Gwangju. It demonstrated to the general public the positive impact and role of design on their environments. Installations, films, conferences and traditional exhibitions presented examples of public-private partnerships and innovations, planning and urban renewal or new sustainable solutions for housing, agriculture, energy or to combat climate change. It was also an opportunity for the public sector to present new ideas to cope with urbanisation or to strengthen social cohesion in fast-growing cities, such as Cape Town.

This conference, focusing on the “Make A Plan” theme, brought together municipal, provincial and national authorities in a joint effort to integrate design into public policies. Over 30 local and international design experts - designers, developers, industrial companies, universities, educators, decision makers and members of civil society - highlighted the importance of having a design approach at all levels of local and national government. They presented examples of good practice to promote sustainable development of economies, societies and cultures.