Cape Town Dignified Places Programme
Did you know?
Uluntu Plazas are Dignified Places with trees, seating and stalls where communities can shop, talk and trade.
The idea behind Cape Town’s Dignified Places Programme is that urban design can be a catalyst for positive change; a visible and tangible way of reconnecting communities and addressing issues of equality and social justice.
Before 1994, Cape Town was an inequitable city. Because of apartheid, poor and segregated communities suffered the indignity of having nominal or unsafe spaces for sport and recreation.
In 1999, despite beginning work on a new Spatial Development Framework for Cape Town, the city had not identified public space as a means to demonstrate its post-apartheid policy.
A small group of urban designers lobbied the city for 6 years to promote dignity in the public realm by providing the most disadvantaged parts of the city with comfortable and attractive places where people could meet, relax or trade. They also argued that spatial separation was financially and environmentally unsustainable for the city in the long term.
When the city finally assigned budget for the transformation of public spaces through urban design, 80 sites were identified. Around the same time, Cape Town began to consider ways to combine the infrastructure development required for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ and simultaneously accelerate the Dignified Places Programme.
The result was Quality Public Spaces (QPS), an offshoot of the Dignified Places Programme. Both projects had the same motive of upholding dignity in the public realm through urban renewal.
Twenty public spaces were identified and fast-tracked to be ready for the FIFA 2010 World Cup™. Notable among Cape Town’s QPS is the Cape Town Stadium and multipurpose Green Point Urban Park precinct.
In seeking to benefit the maximum number of people, the Dignified Places Programme chose locations to transform in economically disadvantaged, or on busy public transport interchanges and pedestrian routes. Jetty Square and Pier Place situated in the Foreshore Area of the City Centre are such locations.
Formerly a disused parking lot, Jetty Square is near where the first ships would have anchored in Table Bay in the 17th century. Today, the historic area is an aesthetically pleasing pedestrian refuge with interactive sculptures.
Pier Place, adjacent to Jetty Square, used to be a barren space. Now, shade-giving trees, benches and realistic human sculptures provide a contemporary, comforting space where commuters can relax.
Cape Town’s network of groundbreaking Dignified Places include the Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VUPUU) project, aimed at preventing violence in some of Cape Town’s poorest areas. There is also the Gugulethu Gateway, an urban renewal design project for a vibrant mixed-used precinct in the township.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Cape Town - World Design Capital 2014 Bid
Tel: +27 (0)21 419 1881