About the event:
Design thinking workshop
Can innovative design and emerging technologies counter rapid urbanisation and provide a viable and sustainable alternative for Africa’s future? Join engineering consultancy Aurecon for a design thinking workshop to imagine answers to that question.
Entry is free, but please email the organisers to book your place.
16h00 – 18h00: Design Thinking Workshop: How can innovative design and emerging technologies counter rapid urbanisation and provide a viable alternative for Africa’s future?
18h00 – 20h00: Networking and discussions. Entertainment provided by the Aurecon band.
Africa’s cities continue to grow at an unprecedented rate and the UN has estimated that the nearly 80% urbanisation level expected by 2050 will see 1.26 billion people living in African cities – more than the entire population of the continent today. But already most African cities suffer from a lack of service delivery, unsustainable growth rates, and increasing demands for housing, energy, water, sanitation, health services, education, and jobs. It is highly unlikely that even the current demands, let alone the future demands, can be met through a traditional approach to service delivery and support for urban growth and development. The current environmental footprint of African cities also makes this unsustainable.
Researchers have already noted that the future of the African City is likely to remain centred around “informality” and that this should be embraced rather than viewed as a short term transition. However, the provision of basic services to informal settlements presents many significant engineering and service delivery challenges and while cities are seen as providing better opportunities in terms of job creation, that is not always the case.
But what if the continued rate of rapid urbanisation was not the future of growth in Africa? What if innovative design, new technologies, and alternative engineering design could change this future which many see for Africa through supporting instead a systems of decentralised design. Could this address some of these challenges and lead to a more equal and sustainable community, while enhancing economic development and reducing pressure on overcrowded urban centres? What are the challenges? What are the opportunities? How can design and innovation contribute to this alternative future?
Location: Aurecon Centre
1 Century City Drive, Century City, Western Cape