The project was submitted under the WDC theme of Bridging the Divide, for a community-led collaborative design process to transform the land around Princess Vlei into an urban nature park that will honour its natural and cultural heritage.
After being shortlisted, the project was excluded from the final programme because the City was engaged in negotiations with the developer regarding the sale of the land. Now that the City has resolved not to sell the land, we are once more eligible and have been accorded recognition.
In a significant development last week, Forum members met with the City to present our vision and discuss the way forward. The meeting was chaired by Ald. Belinda Walker, Mayco member for Community Services and Special Projects, and attended by Cllr Jan Burger and a number of COCT staff, including members from the Spatial Planning and Urban Design, Sports and Recreation, City Parks, and Environmental Resource Management departments.
Ald. Walker indicated that the City was very open to the vision presented by the Forum, and that it accorded in many respects with the City’s own intentions with the site. She further indicated that the City was willing to collaborate with and be guided by the community in transforming the site.
We believe Imagine Princess Vlei holds valuable lessons for the community-driven transformation of public space throughout Cape Town, which will help in the evolution of a more sustainable, equitable and inclusive city driven by a dynamic partnership between civic authorities and engaged citizens. It will also leave a lasting legacy of a beautiful space easily accessible to adjoining low-income communities, and open to all, in which to enjoy nature and community activities.
Our campaign to save Princess Vlei from the proposed mall development has always been driven by a bigger vision of transforming the space into an asset that can serve all citizens for generations to come. This vision has been deepened and strengthened by years of tireless and passionate engagement by local and broader communities in rehabilitating, cleaning up and re-imagining this space.
Imagine Princess Vlei creates a unique opportunity for citizen involvement in shaping our urban environment, and we greatly look forward to working with interested community members, the City of Cape Town and the WDC2014 team on this inspiring project. We would also like to invite people to fill in our online survey to let us know what you would like to see at Princess Vlei. Details of our vision may be found on our here.
"The Princess Vlei Forum joins the 460+ projects in the WDC 2014 programme and we look forward to their contribution to this year of social transformation through design. To realise the legacy ambitions of WDC we’d like to see as many of the recognized projects brought to fruition and growth and we wish the Princess Vlei team all the best with the co-design workshops they are planning," said WDC 2014 Programme Director, Nicky Swartz.