Counter-Currents: Experiments in Sustainability in the Cape Town Region

Programme Type: Publishing Programme:
Publication Date: 2010 ISBN: 9781770097957

Cape Town is undergoing a growth spurt driven along by both public and private sector investments. In the process a new city is being fashioned in front of our eyes but there are very few book length perspectives on the direction and meaning of this growth. This is particularly alarming given the many intractable problems that stare the city in the face and which require more considered and informed responses. The starting point of this initiative is that the nature and direction of Cape Town’s physical metamorphosis is unsustainable and culturally questionable if not inappropriate. However, amidst the expansion of real estate, a number of very important counter currents are afoot (as plans or interventions or sometimes, only dreams) which represent both a critique of unimaginative urban growth and hold the seeds for putting Cape Town onto a unique and culturally resonant growth path; a precondition for creating a more inclusive, vibrant and sustainable city at ease in its own skin, perched at the southern tip of Africa.

The purpose of this book will be to showcase bold urban development initiatives by the both the state and the private sector with the aim of shifting public ideas and discourses about the kind of Cape Town we should be imagining and nurturing; a city that works explicitly with many unresolved contradictions and tensions but also strives to give expression to a number of core values such as sustainability, social justice, integration and creativity. Contributing authors to the volume include: Mokena Makeka, Gita Goven, Barbara Southworth, Andrew Boraine, Luyanda Mpahlwa, Nisa Mammon, Lucien Le Grange, Iain Low, Karen Press, Jane Alexander, Ashraf Jamal, AbdouMaliq Simone, David Dewar, Mark Swilling. The volume is edited by Edgar Pieterse.