A city of nearly 4 million inhabitants, Cape Town is endowed with abundant creative talent, a diverse and vibrant population, and a rich and complex history. Since the democratization process initiated in 1994, Cape Town has used creativity and design as tools in the ongoing process of rebuilding, reconnecting and repositioning the city to transform lives and to build a better, more resilient city for all. It is estimated that the creative industries contributed US$1 billion gross value added and provided approximately 27,760 jobs in Cape Town, amounting to 2.2% of the total formal employment in the city in 2014.
Cape Town's growing reputation in the eld of design is supported by nine major annual design-related events and a spectrum of smaller, more focused design events held throughout the year. The Open Design Festival links design to innovation, education and community. Since 2013, this 12-day festival attracts around 8,000 people each year. Complimenting this, the globally acclaimed Design Indaba Festival empowers people to create a better future through design and creativity, and attracts an audience in excess of 10,000 people.
As the rst World Design Capital from the developing world, focus was placed in Cape Town on applying transformative design to create solutions to address urban challenges. Currently, there is greater emphasis placed on creativity and culture as critical components in the development of an active citizenry, environmental sustainability, social cohesion, economic growth, and community building. Cape Town is committed to democratising design, strengthening the local and international design-ecosystem, embedding design-led innovation into the city administration, and using design as a problem-solving tool for urban challenges to improve the lives of its inhabitants.
As a Creative City of Design, Cape Town envisages:
- working closely with cities in The Network to share ideas, challenges and successes related to the use of design in building sustainable and resilient cities, notably to support the development of a design-led innovation strategy for Cape Town;
- using local events as powerful engines to share experiences, knowledge and best practice with diverse local and international audiences and design practitioners;
- enhancing the position of Cape Town as an ideas and innovation capital for Africa;
- establishing the Cape Town Global Academy, resulting from a public-private partnership with the City of Atlanta, and focusing on urban future and creative cities;
- building a more inclusive, integrated and vibrant city through the Transit Design Programme focusing on transport and mobility initiatives; and
- implementing the Integrated Community Programme aimed at using culture, creativity, design and design thinking principles to improve the lives of the people in Cape Town.