Cape Town’s bid story

The City of Cape Town's successful bid for World Design Capital 2014 was coordinated by the Cape Town Partnership, in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders and supporters.

Cape Town's World Design Capital 2014 vision and legacy

What will define Cape Town's term as World Design Capital 2014? What do we as a city on the African continent hope to achieve, both in the year marking two decades of democracy, and in the years after that? Here is our vision and a statement of hope and commitment in the legacy we would like to leave:


Cape Town will use the World Design Capital 2014 opportunity to transform our city into one of the most inclusive, sustainable, liveable and productive on the African continent.

By harnessing the problem-solving powers of design and designers, and the creativity and resourcefulness of communities across our city, we will find innovative solutions to our most pressing on-the-ground challenges.

We will identify, nurture and promote projects that offer tangible evidence of how design can improve lives, bridge historic divides, reconnect our city in structure and in spirit, rebuild social and economic inclusion, and reposition Cape Town for a truly sustainable future within our uniquely South African and African context.

Through World Design Capital 2014 we will strengthen partnerships throughout our city - between government, business, NGO's, academia, designers and communities.

Working together, we will ensure that design is understood as a key driver of sustainable social and economic development; that design is embedded in city development processes; that design skills and excellence are developed in Cape Town, South Africa and the continent; and that citizens are empowered to embrace design as a tool for transformation.

As the first developing nation city to be awarded World Design Capital 2014, we will use the designation as a catalyst for collaboration, knowledge sharing and networking across the African continent, and with other developing nation cities.

Our World Design Capital 2014 events will be leveraged to celebrate and showcase the tangible successes and transformative vision that earned Cape Town the designation, and to share our challenges and lessons more widely.

Globally, Cape Town will gain a reputation as a leading producer of creative design solutions to the complex challenges of our time - an African city of design-led innovation and inspiration.


Photo of Luyanda Mpahlwa's 10x10 low cost housing pilot project in Freedom Park taken by Guto Bussab