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Children draw their visions for Future Cities




What do children see in our Future Cities?

Pupils in Grade 5 at the Irene Primary School were asked by the officials of the City of Tshwane, the metropolitan authority for Pretoria, to draw their visions for the future of their City. The process which formed a part of the Liveable Tshwane 2055 process engaged with pupils on ideas for the sort of city they would want to live in when they became adults.

The Tshwane 2055 outreach process took a different turn on Wednesday 12 September 2012, when city officials visited the Irene Primary School in Centurion to engage Grade 5 pupils on ideas for the sort of city they would want to live in when they become adults.

“After pupils had drawn their interpretations of the ideal city, along with a short description, the pupils would pass their works on to their teachers, who would later submit them to the City, where the three best pictures would win prizes. With several of the pupils having experienced trips to foreign countries in the past, some of the common ideas that came up during the session included the need for a better public transport system to cut down reliance on private cars, as well as a cleaner environment and increased open spaces like parks.”

Can you decipher the type of cities these images are depicting?

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Giant rain collection water tanks, freight traveling by rail, and buses to help everybody get around.

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Rockets, aeroplanes, spaceships and cars launching into space.

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Homes with wind turbines, trees and police hovering above.

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A sunny city, solar panels, massive recycling stations and cars.

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Perhaps the future is not urban but rural?

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Abstract, but towers appear to be the order of the day, and so are cars?

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Jobs and highways, but massive recycling shops, schools, hospitals, people and freedom keep things going.

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Solar panels, gardens, and rhinos free to roam.

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Trams, trees, bicycles, and very fashionable citizens, with a backdrop of rural?

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Iconic architecture, flying cars, and road markings making sure you know the direction you are headed.

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Rashiq Fataar

Founder and MD at Future Cape Town

Rashiq Fataar is the founder, Editor in Chief and Managing Director of Future Cape Town.




  • I love that the Union Buildings are in the background of the one. Historical relevance noted at such a young age! Also, is that a Narwhal in the lake of the very rural one? Haha
    I had to design a Library once, and did a similar exercise with children from Sunnyside Primary (a under-resourced school from the same metropolitan district), except I asked them to draw their ideal Library/what they loved most about libraries.
    I was shocked that most of them did not know what a library was…
    While I am charmed by the images presented here, I would be curious to see what would be produced by children of a similar age, from a different socio-economic back ground.

    • I think it’s actually a sunfish 😉