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Water-sensitive projects take centre stage at awards ceremony<p>​<br></p><span><p>The Blue-Green Cities Awards is an initiative that the City has been driving with partners – the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Future Water Institute at UCT, the Institute of Landscape Architects of South Africa (ILASA) and the Craft and Design Institute - to amplify water sensitive design practice by celebrating best practice.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="" class="responsive" alt="" /> </figure>​​</span><span><div>‘The awards uniquely promote a holistic society approach including the built environment, spheres of government, academia, private sector, non-government partners and citizens. Blue-Green cities have potential that transcends the practical, environmental aspects because they restore people’s relationship to water and nature - and each other. This connectivity is much needed in our divided city and it is an important part of building a city of hope,’ said Acting Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation, Councillor Siseko Mbandezi.</div><div><br></div> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:949px;" /> </figure>​​</span><span><div>Alderman Ian Neilson, the City of Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation  Portfolio Committee Chairperson delivered a speech at the event.</div><div><br></div><div>The evening’s keynote speaker, Professor Tony Wong (Monash University, Australia) congratulated the organisers on the event and highlighted the importance of urgent action if we are to meet our Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) commitments. The 10 finalists presented their projects to a panel of three judges, Professor Neil Armitage (UCT, Future Water Institute), Ms. Kobie Brand (ICLEI Regional Director and Global Director for ICLEI’s Biodiversity and Nature-based solutions work) and Ryan Ravens (CEO Accelerate Cape Town) who selected four of the winners, with the fifth prize selected by event participants.<br></div> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:949px;" /> </figure>​​</span><div>The categories included:</div><div><br></div><div><ul><li><strong>The Europe Informal Settlement Point Upgrade</strong></li></ul></div><div>This upgrade won best use of water as a design informant. The project responds to winter flooding, limited basic water supply and a lack of safe, public recreational space by using low-tech methods of diverting and filtering grey water and improving stormwater drainage that reduces flooding and ponding. </div><div><br></div><div>An upgraded walkway allows for safer pedestrian access to and from the plazas, preventing muddied shoes, and giving dignity. Children and adults use the public spaces for active (soccer and netball) and passive recreation. Local emerging contractors, who understood the conditions and were, therefore, able to work with the residents, were employed for construction contributing to the local economy and livelihoods. The simplicity of the interventions makes them replicable elsewhere and scalable. </div><div><br></div><div>Other key outcomes include the establishment of long-term trust built by engaging with community leadership from the start and active participation in decision-making. The multi-disciplinary design team includes Amy Thompson (landscape architect), Jackie James and Claire du Trevou (both architects). They are all members of the Rotary Club of Noon Gun, the organisation that initiated this project. </div><div><br></div><div><ul><li><strong>Facilitating Knowledge Transfer Through Social Practice and the Natural Environment in Delft</strong></li></ul></div><div>Tauhier Rakiep’s architecture thesis Facilitating Knowledge Transfer Through Social Practice and the Natural Environment in Delft, centers around water, water management, procurement and sustainability in an urban setting. The project uses architecture as the vehicle to remedy the disconnection of society from the natural environment and creates space to passively share embodied generational knowledge. In practical terms, it seeks to use architecture to manage flooding that affects residents, damages property, hinders residents’ work commute to work and contributes to poor public health. </div><div><br></div><div>Detention and retention ponds are used for bioretention of stormwater within a series of public amenity buildings aimed at young and old, creating a space for intergenerational knowledge transfer through observations or sharing stories. The site is a short distance away from the main active spine of Delft and provides a beautiful natural place of relief from the dense activity of the main road.</div><div><br></div><div><ul><li><strong>I</strong><strong>ndawo, Abantu, Injongo, eKhayelitsha (“Place, People, Purpose, Khayelitsha”) is the Best Community Project.</strong></li></ul></div><div>Illegal dumping of single-use plastics, building rubble, medication, expired food and used sanitary items was ending up in the stormwater system, negatively impacting receiving waterbodies and the underlying Cape Flats Aquifer (CFA).</div><div><br></div><div>Busiswa Nomyayi and a group of community women formed “Indawo, Abantu, Injongo, eKhayelitsha” (Place, People, Purpose, Khayelitsha) with The Umvoto Foundation (TUF) support to deal with this issue and to transform and beautify their community using water sensitive designs. The three main features include waste removal, art, and green space (public space and vegetable gardens) that enhances the environment and protects the water systems through aquifer recharge, flood retention and nutrient assimilation using a rain garden that further improves local biodiversity. </div><div><br></div><div>The project was also the recipient of the Most Valued Water Sensitive Innovation Award with Busisiwa Nomyayi and the Umvoto Foundation awarded the Most Valued Project Water Champion.</div><div><br></div><div>Whilst geared towards a continental audience, entries were South African-based, but there will hopefully be future awards and opportunities for broader African representation, and opportunities for practitioners to shine.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>Caption 1:</strong> (left to right) Hélène Rekkers, Consul General of the Netherlands in Cape Town (left); Busiswa Momyayi, Fahad Aziz, representing Indawo, Abantu, Injongo eKhayelitsha (“Place, People, Purpose, Khayelitsha”), winners of the Most Valued Water Sensitive Innovation award, with Alderman Ian Neilson, the City of Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation Portfolio Committee Chairperson (far right) at the #cocreate Blue-Green Cities Design Awards.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>Caption 2: </strong>Professor Tony Wong, Professor of Sustainable Development Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Water Sensitive Cities Australia delivered a special message at the #cocreate Blue-Green Cities Design Awards.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>Caption 3:</strong> Judging panel (left to right) Ryan Ravens CEO of Accelerate Cape Town; Kobie Brand, the Regional Director: ICLEI Africa and Professor Neil Armitage: Civil Engineering Department UCT judging shortlisted candidates at the #cocreate Blue-Green Cities Design Awards. </div><div><br></div><div><strong>End</strong><br></div><p><br></p>2022-11-01T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#96b45aeb-40c1-4c11-8031-be12aad9e5bc;L0|#096b45aeb-40c1-4c11-8031-be12aad9e5bc|awards and achievements;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#a3ac5825-3464-4e1b-a58b-75c8b257d806;L0|#0a3ac5825-3464-4e1b-a58b-75c8b257d806|water & sanitation;GP0|#ab999047-9f63-4e79-9a45-1d291fcf4f98;L0|#0ab999047-9f63-4e79-9a45-1d291fcf4f98|International Partnership agreements10

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