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Cape Town Day - Wednesday, 1 March 2006

The Cape Town Day will take place on Wednesday 1 March during the World Congress. The day will consist of on-site technical visits around the city of Cape Town arranged thematically to interconnect with the congress programme and relevant sustainability issues. 

The Cape Town Day will provide a stimulating and contextual networking and socialising opportunity for participants to experience sustainable development projects and initiatives in the host city.

Participants are asked to indicate their first and second choice of tour on the registration form. The Cape Town Day is included in the congress fee. Every effort will be made to ensure that as many first choices as possible are accommodated.

All tours will leave from the congress venue at 09:00 and return by 17:00. The tour will include lunch on site and a workshop, presentation or facilitated discussion session after lunch where participants may share their insight and experiences.

The technical visits for the Cape Town Day will be:

1  Energy and Climate Change

This technical visit focuses on projects in Cape Town that are taking responsibility for reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the well being of future generations. The tour will concentrate on a few of the projects that showcase energy efficient interventions and renewable energy options. Delegates will visit the Kuyasa Housing Project – a successful Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project whereby houses in a low income area have been retrofitted with energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies such as energy saving lamps, ceiling insulation and solar water heaters. Lunch and a short workshop will take place at the Lynedoch Sustainability Institute which houses an EcoVillage and school. Finally the tour will conclude with a visit to the Darling Wind Farm on the West Coast. This is likely to be the first commercial wind farm in South Africa, with completion of phase one expected by December 2005.

2  Water and Sanitation

In line with the President’s ‘State of the Nation’ address and to contribute to the National Agenda, the City of Cape Town is not only committed to delivering services, but also to working jointly with communities to overcome the problems of the past and to ensure sustainable water and sanitation services to the community. In the past year the City has delivered 1000 standpipes and 3000 toilets to informal settlements to ensure that the majority of residents have access to at least some level of service. The net effect is that the City now has close to 98% and 90% coverage of basic water and sanitation services across the metro. A further 400 standpipes and 3000 toilets in this financial year will be delivered. The City is well on track to eliminate the backlog in basic water and sanitation services by 2008.

The technical visit will include a stopover at the Faure Water Treatment Plant and the Athlone Waste Water Treatment plant. The afternoon workshop will include discussion around some of the problems and challenges that the City of Cape Town faces with regards to water and sanitation. The tour will also include a visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium at the Waterfront where delegates will have the opportunity to watch a three scene, automated puppet show depicting the integrated story of water saving, catchment management, waste management and waste water. This puppet show is the first of its kind in South Africa, in fact in the world.

3  Responsible Tourism

The Cape Care Route is a legacy project established for the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002 and is based on the principles of sustainable development and responsible tourism. This project aims to make a meaningful difference to the lives of communities in poverty, raise awareness and change preconceptions amongst more affluent society, build strong foundations around sustainable development practices and anticipates to be replicated in other cities throughout the world. In essence, the project showcases some of the Cape Town examples where people are caring for the environment and for each other and celebrates the partnerships that bring prosperity to both planet and people. These projects are encouraging examples of how technology and grassroots approaches have combined to provide people with a cleaner and healthier environment.

Projects to be visited during the technical visit will provide a balance between socio-economic and environmental projects and will include visits to projects such as the Abalimi Peace Park in Khayelitsha and SCAGA, a community-based urban agriculture project which has given hope to hopeless families and the Tsoga Environmental Centre, an important environmental centre in a disadvantaged area which includes a successful waste recycling centre. It will provide some insight into the struggles of the informal settlements within an urban context.

4  Urban Mobility

Promotion of bicycle use projects, a new pilot Rapid Bus Transport System (RBTS), transport education projects and the Argus Cycle Tour (the world’s biggest cycle tour), are some of the highlights of this tour focusing on sustainable urban mobility. You will start the tour by experiencing first hand the potential for non motorised transport by cycling to places of note in the central business district area. You will then follow the route of the RBTS through upper, middle and low income areas in Cape Town, where you will have the opportunity of becoming an innovative problem solver for the day as the successes and challenges of the project will be debated.

5  Biodiversity 1 (West Coast)

Cape Town has long been regarded as one of the world's biodiversity hotspots.  These exceptional biodiversity riches will comprise part of this technical site visit, with the possibility of viewing impressive displays of floral diversity in addition to pausing to admire the faunal and avifaunal wealth of the Atlantic coast to the north of Cape Town.  The other component of the site visit will be encountering some of the challenges facing the appropriate management of biodiversity in the region, including alien invasive vegetation, rapid urban sprawl and poaching.

6  Biodiversity 2 (False Bay)

Cape Town, an internationally recognised hotspot of biodiversity, is also home to some of the poorest communities in the world. This contrast will be highlighted in the tour which will visit two nature reserves, located just 20 minutes from the city centre. The reserves boast some of the most important wetlands for birds in the Western Cape and you might even get to see the family of hippopotami. The tour addresses some of the challenges of planning for and managing of natural areas in an urban context, as well as the success of multi-partner initiatives that aim to bring together the interests of people, especially those living in poverty, with those of biodiversity conservation.

7  Health

Illness and deaths from Tuberculosis (TB), HIV and AIDS continue to rise in the Western Cape region around Cape Town and have a large impact on the population, the economy, housing, transport and other sectors. The tour will be focused in one of the township areas on the outskirts of Cape Town and will visit community-based projects that support HIV/AIDS infected members of the community. En route to the township, you will drive past the Groote Schuur Hospital, where the first heart transplant was performed by Dr Chris Barnard in 1967. Discussion will be centred around issues directly related to health such as waste, a lack of clean water, poor sanitation, air pollution and achieving a balance between maintaining excellent first world medicine standards and serving the health needs of a developing country.

8  Coastal Management

Cape Town, influenced by the waters of both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, boasts an enviable and varied coastal ecosystem, and a 307 km coastline including some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and spectacular rocky cliff formations. The tour, which includes a drive around the Cape Peninsula, will visit two of Cape Towns’ recently awarded blue flag beaches. One of the beaches is located in an affluent area near the city centre, the other in a low income area on the outskirts of the city. You will also visit a coastal village where rapid development has taken place and discuss issues around coastal development.

9  Waste Management

Towns and cities all around the world have issues relating to waste management and Cape Town is no different.  With only limited years left of space in landfill sites, alternative solutions are urgently being sought.  You will visit some of the innovative alternatives that are being implemented in Cape Town in an attempt to promote the slogan of "reduce, re-use and recycle" and to work towards achieving the targets of the Urban Environmental Accords, including reducing by 60% the amount of waste which enters the landfills.

10 Integrated Settlements

Rapid urbanisation is a process experienced by all major cities in South Africa and Cape Town is no exception.  While it brings with it much that is positive, the immediate negative side effects include a shortage of proper housing, a lack of access to municipal services and high rates of unemployment.  In time these issues do get resolved through the efforts of a caring municipality.  This tour will introduce you to examples of state-driven housing projects in some of Cape Town’s low income areas.  The tour is aimed at showcasing the efforts that government is making at targeting families that are too poor to house themselves through the market mechanism. 

11 Disaster Management

While Cape Town has been relatively stable from natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanoes, other disasters related to oil, fire and water have threatened the City’s human and animal populations on a significant scale. The proliferation of informal townships has made these residents the most vulnerable target for winter floods and runaway shack fires in summer. Oil spillage of potentially catastrophic proportions from a giant oil tanker threatened 80% of the world’s population of African Jackass Penguins. You will visit sites where these disasters impacted on the life of the City of Cape Town and learn about recent successes and failings of interventions to mitigate these events.

Page last updated: 10.May.2012

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