The Dutch Consulate’s initiative to interact with a wide range of local professionals in all fields of design in Cape Town and beyond culminated in the specially prepared Department of Design. This event gave the Dutch Alliance for Sustainable Urban Development in Africa (DASUDA) the opportunity to demonstrate our interactive digital urban design tools and present the case study we have been working on with our local partners.
At Department of Design, DASUDA held four sessions with professionals from our local network and new contacts that were attracted by the widely spread announcement of Dutch design presentations to be held in July 2014.
The DASUDA sessions were introduced by Frank Cumming on the context of urban regeneration in Cape Town, followed by a presentation on the insight of DASUDA’s analysis and approach. The attendees than were invited to join around the touch table, where our digital interactive tools on water (3di) and mobility (Move meter) were demonstrated.
Both of these showed state of the art new technologies and how they might be used in interactive workshops in an early planning stage to give a better understanding of the opportunities and various criteria that are decisive for an urban scheme.
The DASUDA team have been studying the Wingfield location as a case study for our approach, being part of the Transition Facility support by the Dutch Government. A former military airbase, Wingfield is situated between Voortrekker road and the N1 roadway. It has been used to demonstrate our design approach to urban development and how the new tools on the touch table play a part.
Besides attendees from various design firms, engineering companies, project developers and NGO’s we were very pleased to have Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works Donald Grant and Deputy Director-General of Strategic Programmes Laurine Platzky attending our sessions.
Discussions were lively on how a new approach can influence the challenges of Cape Town development and have led to follow-up appointments. A direct invitation to present DASUDA’s models and tools in more depth at the City of Cape Town’s traffic and transport department led directly, in the same week, to a special session with a wide range of traffic engineers from both the city, the province and consultants. DASUDA will continue its work with local partner Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) on urban design objectives in the wider area of Voortrekkerroad Corridor and the Bellville node. In this perspective, it was useful to have been offered the chance by the Dutch Consulate to host the ministerial delegation, including Dr Lidewijde Ongering, Director General of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, visiting Bellville and the GTP offices during Department of Design’s three-week run. A very productive meeting of GTP board members, a DASUDA expert team and the Dutch Delegation also gave insight on the objectives and collaborations of the GTP and DASUDA. This was followed by the same session of presentation of the case study for Wingfield and demonstration of our digital tools on water, mobility and urban design approach on the touch table. Hosting the talk in Bellville created the opportunity to drive through the area and give the delegation an impression of the real-life challenges and vast opportunities of this main development area for the coming decades in Cape Town.