While I am generally against patriotism or any campaigns that try to promote pride in something that isn’t actually an achievement I still have an affection for my home city of Cape Town. So I’ve decided I will share a few of it’s most recent accolades, those that I am aware of at least. Also I have changed the site banner from the rotating default images to a picture of Cape Town available from the Wikimedia Commons. The image below is also available at Wikimedia Commons and shows Cape Town City Hall.
First off, Cape Town has been recognised by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design as an example of excellent design and has been named the 2014 World Design Capital. Cape Town was chosen over the Irish city of Dublin and the Spanish city of Bilbao. This will also tie in with 20 years of democracy in South Africa and hopefully will draw focus from the rest of the world to the tip of Africa.
Although South Africa has many social problems, both due to historical factors and its own diversity, we do have a progressive constitution and were the fifth country in the world, and the first in Africa, to legalise same-sex marriage. That was in 2006 and since then Cape Town has grown a sizeable gay community and was nominated as a contestant for the best “Up and Coming City” in a poll by GayCities. Unfortunately we lost to Buffalo and tied with Santiago, in second place, with 17% of the votes.
Cape Town also has spectacular natural resources and unique conditions. This has been recognised in two ways recently. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, an almost entirely indigenous garden on the slopes of Table Mountain, was voted one of the top 10 picnic spots in the world by National Geographic. Table Mountain itself was not left out and has been provisionally named as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, joining such places as the Amazon and Iguazu falls.
No doubt there are other awards I am not aware of but it’s heartening to know that even with the problems around me I still live in one of the most beautiful and admired places in the world.
EDIT: This isn’t really Cape Town exclusive but I was going to include it and just forgot. South Africa was voted the third friendliest country in the world.