Cape Town, home to almost 4 million inhabitants, is a highly differentiated and malleable city, filled with almost endless promise but also continuously undermined by a variety of constraints and pressures. The Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award recognises and celebrates creative solutions to the problems and opportunities of city dwellers, and this year’s Award was launched in Cape Town on 23 November 2011, giving entrants until 24 February 2012 to submit their projects to be considered for a prize of R750,000. The response was overwhelming: 254 entries were received, the highest number in the history of the award.
The jury convened from 20-22 March to adjudicate the submissions and tour the city to meet a clutch of outstanding projects. They unanimously identified eight projects to shortlist, which are, in alphabetical order:
- Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) (city-wide)
- Masiphumelele Community Library (Masiphumelele)
- Mothers Unite (Lavender Hill)
- Regeneration of City and Soul (Retreat)
- Rocklands Urban Abundance Centre (Rocklands, Mitchells Plain)
- Social Justice Coalition (Khayelitsha)
- Thrive Recycling (Imizamo Yethu/Hout Bay)
- VPUU – Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (Khayelitsha)
The winner will be announced at an Award Ceremony on 19 April 2012.
The jury believes the submissions reflect the rich reservoir of organisations, talent, energy and grassroots leadership across all segments of the city, a diversity of activism that bodes well for Cape Town’s future. Such a response made the adjudication process incredibly difficult, but also profoundly rewarding, and the jury members felt deeply humbled and inspired by the range of quality initiatives sprouting all over the city.
The three international jurors are: Prof. Ricky Burdett, Director of LSE Cities; Tony Williams, former Mayor of Washington D.C. and Enrique Norten, renowned architect based at TEN Arquitectos, Mexico/NY. Capetonian jury members are: Nomfundo Walaza, CEO of the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre; Malika Ndlovu, poet, playwright and performance artist; Andrew Boraine, CEO of the Cape Town Partnership; and jury Chair Prof. Edgar Pieterse, Director of the African Centre for Cities at UCT. For more information on the award, visit www.DBUAaward.net.