An exploration of City Desired: Education vs Diversity

A recent assignment prompted me to look into the work of The African Centre for Cities (ACC),  a research unit at the University of Cape Town, and Cityscapes in a collaborative project from 2014 entitled City Desired. In following the themes of Education and Diversity in City Desired, the above infographic was created to provide a comparison of the 57th and 48th wards in Cape Town highlighting the similarities and differences in youth education, youth demographics and youth employment.

The ward choices in the infographic correspond to the City Desired themes with Education referencing ward 57 (parts of Zonnebloem, Woodstock, Observatory and Salt River) and Diversity referencing ward 48 (parts of Belthorn, Sunnyside, Gatesville and Rylands Estate). This infographic points out that Apartheid’s legacy of segregation still informs much of contemporary Cape Town’s socio-economic urban development.

I would highly recommend visiting the City Desired website to discover how the project incorporated interactive data representations and audiovisual means in biographically profiling eleven Capetonians whose life experiences offered valuable insights and varied perspectives into Cape Town’s foreseeable challenges and possibilities.

The exhibition clarifies the interconnected nature of all Capetonians whose fates are linked

Tau Tavengwa

The concern expressed by the City Desired project is that Africa’s increasing urbanization will see the continent’s young unable to secure formal employment; thus instead, urban youth will be stuck in under-paid and under-valued vulnerable occupations. This concern finds its roots in the growing inequality between the wealthy and the poor and the failure of current policies active in Cape Town to integrate society or address issues steeped in Apartheid history after 23 years:

Residential divisions are further mirrored in the education, health and security systems defined by a middle class that can afford to buy excellent services and poor who are forced to rely on over-stretched and under-resourced public systems, further reproducing the class, race and cultural divides of the city.

Edgar Pieterse

Data in the infographic was sourced from Statistics South Africa and the Western Cape Education Department through the use of YouthExplorer.

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