Edgar Pieterse, director of the African Center for Cities and editor of Counter Currents presents in this recent volume on Cape Town, South Africa “a radical project of optimism, bringing into collision the work of architects, planners, scholars, poets and sculptors to explore new possibilities for the city’s self-image.”
In Miranda Iossifidis’ insightful review of the book on Global Urbanist, she discusses Pieterse’s hopes that this volume can provide an opportunity for Capetonians to reflect on and experiment with solutions to some of the city’s serious challenges, ranging from memory and social justice to changing cultural values and the ever changing, often disturbing, realities of the Mother City in the years during and since apartheid. However, Pieterse asserts that Cape Town “can save itself” through “shifting public ideas and discourses about the kind of Cape Town we should be imagining and nurturing.”
Iossifidis concludes that the book manages to portray a rich, dynamic and hopeful picture of Cape Town as it is and its way forward into the 21st Century:
“This city–the ‘Cape of Storms and the Cape of Good Hope at the same time’–is a uniquely complex case study from the perspective of local thinkers and practitioners presented in a well-designed and richly illustrated manner. Perpetually probing for glimpses of possible alternatives, the book avoids stagnation through an innovative multidisciplinary approach, combining poetry, photo-essays, and policy analysis alongside practical and theoretical essays, creating a rhythm of careful optimism.”
I look forward to reading it myself soon!
– Ariana K. MacPherson