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WDC2014 Cape Town
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WDC 2014 projects - Overview

The work done by the World Design Capital (WDC) team within the City of Cape Town includes the following:

Internal projects

We know the City of Cape Town has delivered extraordinary projects in the past, and is working on and planning more extraordinary projects that will be implemented in the months and years to come. But what are they?

Undertaking an Appreciative Inquiry approach to project assessment, a methodology was designed to assess the application of design thinking. Close to 80 projects were identified through engagement with the WDC task team, the Executive Directors and the Mayoral Committee. Each of these projects was deemed (by the proposers) to be 'special' in some way from an innovation perspective. Read about these projects here

With the projects in hand, we set out to identify how innovation has been implemented, which conditions and processes have led to outstanding products, services or improvements, and to conclude the patterns and key factors behind those. On this basis, we were able to develop a 'Cape Town Toolbox to Design Thinking'. More information here.


In order to assess whether City employees were able to apply creative, collaborative and user-centric practices in their duties, an online survey was conducted.

The survey has helped us understand how and where design thinking is being applied throughout its administration, and highlight the areas that require training and capacity building, in order to improve the use of design thinking to address relevant challenges. Read the report here.

We also sent out 10 000 design awareness and ideas questionnaires to all the City libraries and a geographically randomly selected range of high schools, in an effort to access groups of people whose voices are less often heard – the unemployed, the youth, retired people and so on. We are in the process of analysing the results, and will report back.

Co-creation projects

When Cape Town won the title of World Design Capital 2014, the Mayor promised that during the year, design would touch every one of the city’s 111 wards. We have given effect to that promise through our projects.

The methodology we delivered was so successful that we’ve been asked to roll it out to address other challenges the City faces – such as what to do with that iconic landmark, the Good Hope Centre. Click here to find out more about that.

Innovation in the City

Alongside the conversation about embedding design and design-led thinking into the City of Cape Town, there is a conversation taking place on innovation. Click here to read more about that.