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.

Bringing Cape Town's World Design Capital 2014 bid vision to life

Two supporters of Cape Town as World Design Capital 2014 in front of Khayelitsha's Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading program.
With the launch of Cape Town Design, the non-profit company established to implement World Design Capital 2014, and the appointment of its CEO Alayne Reesberg  in January 2013, Cape Town’s bid vision is now being translated into reality. Ideas and plans outlined in Cape Town’s bid book will become tangible, through the collection and curation of a rich diversity of projects for inclusion in the official 2014 programme.
Bid drivers, the Cape Town Partnership, who also supported the City of Cape Town with World Design Capital 2014 planning and institutional setup, will now join other agencies and organisations in supporting Cape Town Design’s implementation efforts.
Pitch your projects
A much-anticipated public call for potential World Design Capital 2014 projects is scheduled to go out towards the end of February 2013, with a focus on projects that highlight how design can be used to transform lives. Although projects will not necessarily be funded, successful projects will benefit from being promoted extensively by Cape Town Design, both at home and abroad, under the prestigious World Design Capital 2014 banner. Those wishing to register interest can do so by visiting the new official World Design Capital 2014 website, currently under construction:
Partnership and collaboration
The Cape Town Design company will work closely with the City of Cape Town to ensure that the World Design Capital year delivers on the requirements of the host city agreement, signed with the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, founders of the Word Design Capital designation. 
Of course, Cape Town’s programme in 2014 must also speak to the needs and expectations of Cape Town’s design and creative communities, and more broadly to all the citizens of Cape Town. To this end, Cape Town Design will collaborate with a wide spectrum of agencies, organisations and networks, including the Cape Town Partnership, its Creative Cape Town programme, Cape Town Tourism and Accelerate Cape Town, to ensure widespread participation, engagement and impact. 
Children at the Lynedoch Village, linked to the Sustainability Institute in Stellenbosch
Design for social transformation
Cape Town’s World Design Capital 2014 bid theme – Live Design. Transform Life – focuses on the transformative power of design. 2014 is a particularly auspicious year for South Africa in that it marks the anniversary of 20 years of democracy. As World Design Capital, Cape Town will place particular emphasis on the role of design in this journey – past, present and future.
A lasting legacy
The introduction to Cape Town’s bid book says: “In 1994 we inherited a city designed for separation; and since then we have been designing a city for integration.”
Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana, MD of the Cape Town Partnership, explains: “This is a strong recognition that a socially cohesive and integrated Cape Town will be achieved through design.”
Pekka Timonen, who headed up Helsinki’s very successful World Design Capital year in 2012, echoes these sentiments: “World Design Capital must be seen as part of a city’s development strategy – it has the ability to speed up and boost what had to happen anyway.” (Read more about Helsinki’s World Design Capital legacy here.)
Cape Town's World Design Capital 2014 bid book.
The power of deadlines
“Deadlines are very good as accelerators of urban development,” says Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana. “We saw this with the World Cup in 2010, when public spaces were upgraded, public transport rollout was fast-tracked, pedestrian corridors like the Fan Walk were created, and the City became more user-friendly, seemingly overnight. This was one of the main reasons why the Cape Town Partnership championed the bid. Cape Town’s designation as Word Design Capital in 2014 offers another opportunity to build on that legacy and accelerate key projects towards a more liveable and inclusive city.” (Read more about Cape Town’s bid here).
Harnessing Cape Town’s bid spirit
Noting the potential to use the World Design Capital 2014 opportunity as a vehicle for change, Cape Town Design CEO Alayne Reesberg says: “A lot of really good work was done during the bidding process to get the people of Cape Town excited. We have at our fingertips not only world-class design, but also a citizenry who are ready, willing and able to assist and support the effort. We’ve also got the attention of a global market that is looking to us with anticipation and excitement. My big job is to harness all of this and make sure that a lot of people are able to bring their skills to the process.” (Read the full interview here.)
Cape Town World Design Capital 2014 bid book.

Cape Town's World Design Capital 2014 bid journey

February 2010: The bid journey begins, headed up by the Cape Town Partnership, as Cape Town joins 32 cities in signing the design declaration at the World Design Cities Summit in Seoul in 2010.
  • Seoul design declaration signed at World Design Cities summit: Read about it here
  • Cape Town a design city: Read about it here
  • Cape Town for World Design Capital 2014: Read about it here
February 2011: Citizens are invited to support Cape Town’s 2014 bid at the Design Indaba Expo through a collaborative stand created by Cape Town Tourism and the Cape Town Partnership’s Creative Cape Town programme.
  • What makes Cape Town a great design city: Read about it here
March 2011: After more than a year of compiling the bid, with the assistance of the 2014 bid committee, the Cape Town Partnership officially hands over Cape Town’s 465-page World Design Capital 2014 bid book to the City of Cape Town, a day before the formal ICSID submission deadline of 31 March 2011.
June 2011: Cape Town is shortlisted for World Design Capital 2014 along with Dublin and Bilbao.
  • World Design Capital 2014 shortlisted cities announced: Read about it here
  • Cape Town shortlisted as one of three candidates for World Design Capital 2014: Read about it here
July 2011: The Cape Town Partnership officially presents Cape Town’s bid book to Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, and new Mayor of Cape Town Alderman Patricia de Lille at a ceremony held at VPUU in Khayelitsha. 
  • A World Design Capital bid for the continent: Read about it here
July 2011: The Cape Town Partnership coordinates Cape Town’s hosting of ICSID’s World Design Capital organising committee, who visit the three short-listed cities.
  • Cape Town shows the World Design Capital 2014 organising committee its transformative design plans: Read about it here
August 2011: The Cape Town Partnership produces and submits the bid motivation video to ICSID.
  • Watch the video here 
October 2011: Cape Town’s design community gathers at a pre-announcement party hosted by the Cape Town Design Network and the Cape Town Partnership’s Creative Cape Town programme. 
  • Watch as Cape Town anticipates the announcement here
October 2011: Cape Town is named World Design Capital 2014 on 26 October 2011 at the IDA Congress in Taipei, attended by a delegation headed up by the Mayor of Cape Town and representing provincial government, Stellenbosch, the Cape Town design community and the Cape Town Partnership.
  • Relive the moment when Cape Town was awarded the title of World Design Capital 2014 here
  • Watch the video of when Cape Town felt on top of the world here
  • Read up on how Cape Town celebrated its World Design Capital win here
  • Watch as Cape Town reacts to the announcement here
February 2012: The Cape Town Partnership coordinates a World Design Capital 2014 stand at Design Indaba 2012 on behalf of the City, showcasing the transformative power of design, and the City of Cape Town hosts a public forum on World Design Capital 2014. 
  • Cape Town 2014: What does design need to solve for you? Read about it here
  • Cape Town got 99 problems, but design ain't on: Read about it here
  • Design with the 99:  Read about it here
  • City well on track to host World Design Capital 2014: Read about it here
June 2012: The Cape Town Partnership manages the first 2014 signature event on behalf of the City, as Cape Town and ICSID sign the official host city agreement on 29 June 2012.
  • Cape Town hosts official World Design Capital 2014 signing ceremony: Read about it here
  • It's official: Watch the World Design Capital 2014 signing ceremony: Watch the video here 
June 2012: The Cape Town Partnership spearheads the selection process for the board of the World Design Capital 2014 implementation company, with the assistance of a voluntary selection committee, and board nominations open.
  • Independent company to implement Cape Town's World Design Capital 2014 programme: Read about it here
September 2012: South African design is showcased in Helsinki at the World Design Capital 2012 International Design House ‘Everyday Discoveries’ exhibition, with the Cape Town Partnership coordinating the project, supported by the steering committee. 
  • Discovering South African design in Helsinki: Read about it here
November 2012: City of Cape Town announces the board on 9 November 2012. 
  • Mayor announces World Design Capital 2014 implementation company board: Read about it here 
November 2012: Icsid passes World Design Capital title from Helsinki to Cape Town and opens call for 2016.
  • The Executive Mayor of Cape Town receives the official World Design Capital 2014 plaque in Helsinki. Read about it here.
January 2013: The City of Cape Town announces the appointment of Alayne Reesberg as CEO of the Cape Town Design company. 
  • City announces appointment of World Design Capital 2014 CEO: Read about it here
Read more about Cape Town's bid
  • What World Design Capital 2014 isn't: Read about it here
  • What can design do for Cape Town? Read about it here
  • Why designers should be at the decision table, Guy Lundy explains: Read about it here
Be part of the next phase of Cape Town's World Design Capital 2014 journey: Visit Cape Town’s official World Design Capital 2014 website: 
Be part of Cape Town's urban future:
Plug in to Cape Town's creative energy: