Princess Vlei gets World Design Capital seal

Cape Times – June 4, 2014

Cape Town’s Princess Vlei Forum’s plan to transform the wetland area has been accepted as an official World Design Capital 2014 project.

The forum, which was formed to fight city council plans to allow a shopping mall and taxi rank in one of the few green lungs on the Cape Flats, said their project was to transform the land around the vlei into an urban nature park.

The city shelved plans to sell the land to the shopping mall developer in March.

The project, called Bridging the Divide, was formed with input from many members of the surrounding community. The plan is to transform the land around Princess Vlei in a way which will ‘honour natural and cultural heritage’.

The forum said their project had been excluded from the final World Design Capital programme at one stage because the city council was engaged in negotiations with the developer of the proposed shopping mall 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,’ the forum said.

Last week the forum met city officials and politicians and presented their vision for the transformation of the vlei.

Councillor Belinda Walker, mayoral committee member for community services and special projects, had told the forum its plan accorded, in many respects, with the city council’s own intentions with the site, and said the city would be guided by the community in transforming the site.

World Design Capital 2014 programme director Nicky Swartz said her team looked forward to their contribution to this year of social transformation through design.

The forum invites the public to fill in their online survey at to say what they would like to see at Princess Vlei.

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