The transformation of Princess Vlei was taken one step closer on October 8 2016, when around thirty passionate individuals gathered to share their creative ideas.
The Princess Vlei Co-design workshop was made possible by the voluntary facilitation of Zaylia Foster and Graham Falken of ZAG Consultants. This talented team ran several similar workshops for the City of Cape Town as part of World Design Capital 2014.
The transformation of Princess Vlei began some years ago with Kelvin Cochran’s People’s Plan. This plan was discussed and deepened through several community workshops and surveys conducted by the Princess Vlei Forum. Ideas were collated in a document called the People’s Vision, which was presented to the City in 2014. The City has since drawn up a Concept Development Framework, which was finalized after a further process of community consultation.
We now are in the process of refining the community’s ideas into workable designs. The co-design workshop is an important step in this process, enabling people to work with designers in developing workable concepts.
The workshop began with an invitation to people to share their stories about Princess Vlei. There was a rich sharing of anecdotes – some hair-raising, such as the story of the headless corps in a suitcase, there were tales of a huge likkewaan (Leguan) which gave rise to stories of a water monster, the legend of the Khoe Princess who wept, as well as many happy memories of playing as children and picnicking with families. The richness of the stories well illustrate the vlei’s complex history, and its wealth as a repository of memory and culture.
The stories were used to identify some of the problems and opportunities at Princess Vlei, summarised below:
Participants were asked to create a collage to represent what they would like to see at Princess Vlei, and then to take that vision and construct a model of the Princess Vlei they would like to see. Some of the ideas represented on these models include:
Since the workshop, the Princess Vlei Forum has been collating these ideas, and consulting designers to help refine them further into specific proposals. We are also in the process of sourcing funds – lobbying the City, and seeking donors and others sources of additional funding. As the plans become more refined, the broader Princess Vlei community will be given further opportunity to comment on and engage with proposals. If anyone has ideas for possible funding sources, or further ideas around the proposals, please contact us at email@example.com.
Posts by Bridget Pitt unless stated otherwise.