1. What makes you happy in this city?
I love the city because you can escape the busy city buzz within 10 minutes. You can find yourself on one of world’s most amazing beaches, see that the city is surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, escape to the mountains, and relax at the most amazing waterfalls all in a blink of an eye.
The one thing that you always see is the mountain. Table Mountain is the centerpiece that Cape Town is built around¬–a majestic guardian that embraces the city. It is so beautiful and easily accessible. So any time one feels the need to escape the city, you simply disappear into the wonderland that the mountain offers.
2. WHAT INSPIRES YOU IN THIS CITY?
The people of the city are my biggest inspiration by far. Cape Town must be one of the most diverse cities on the African continent. It has thirteen official languages, and people from all around world have made the city their home. Cape Town is a port city, so different nations and cultures are on a daily basis passing you by on the street. That’s amazing.
Cape Town is a melting pot of cultures. As a halfway stop throughout the ages, the many travelers left a strong impression on its people, food and architecture. The city is a crazy mash-up of Dutch, French, British, Portuguese, Indian, Malaysian and local African influences. This makes for the most interesting experience, since you can see different parts of town that look like scenes from all over the world. The nature even accentuates this; within an hour you have mountains that look like the highlands, extraordinary beaches, magical forests and a vast desert. This building incorporates the mix of cultures for me; it’s a European building that includes traditional, Ndebele style painting.
3. WHAT WORKS FOR YOU VERY WELL IN THE CITY?
What really work well in the city are the rapid bus transport systems. They make it possible for any person to explore the city from one side of town to the other. This has made the city very accessible to everyone. So even if you don’t have a car you can still get around very comfortably with no stress.
The tourism industry in Cape Town is probably one of the most finely tuned systems that the city has to offer. It is very easy for anyone to visit the city as a tourist, see the sights, and experience the tourist side of it. Compared to other cities around the world, I believe that the city has some of the most professional services to offer in its accommodations, guided tours, food and entertainment.
4. WHAT WOULD YOU DO BETTER?
The area in the images is called Woodstock, a suburb that starts on the slopes of Table Mountain and runs till the industrial area in the harbor. This area–and rest of Cape Town–is well known for its wind all year round. Nothing has ever been done to collect this clean form of energy. It would be amazing to incorporate wind turbines into industrial buildings and urban housing. The city should be an independent and clean energy supplier in the future.
The streets of the middle and upper class suburbs always seem to be empty, void of life and interaction. People in South Africa have a lot of security to protect their houses, and this leaves the suburban streets feeling like “no man’s land”. I would suggest for every few blocks of neighborhood that land be allocated as a communal space where people from the community can socialize and interact. This would create a stronger sense of community, and people would feel safer and more secure. If people spent time on the streets of their neighborhood, they would become their own neighborhood watch, and they would not need all the extra security. A stronger community would create a healthier living environment.
5. HOW WOULD YOU DO IT BETTER?
Most suburbs of Cape Town were not well planned. People were removed from one location and were placed in what is known today as the Cape Flats. No social structures were put in place for people to gather socially or interact.
I would put parks and fields were the community could socially interact on most of these of empty plots. They could even use them as training fields for sport activities and little community events.
It would be great to install cost effective turbines on buildings–such as ventilation turbines–,so that their movement could be used to create power. The created airflow could also help in cooling the indoors during the summer months.
Usually the negative effect of wind energy is the visual obstruction it creates in a landscape. Therefore, the idea is to use smaller, less visible wind energy technology.
To liven up the skyline, a project could be done with various artists to decorate these energy sources.
One of the other ideas that I have is to paint the cranes in the harbor yellow and brown to resemble giraffes. The same thing could be done with various wind energy sources. This would not only beautify the skyline of industrial and commercial areas, but something like ‘The Cape Town Harbor Giraffes’ could become a tourist attraction for visitors from around the world.