#cocreateDESIGN FESTIVAL Creative Exchange sessions

Co-existing, re-connecting with nature and understanding and valuing water sensitive design in our cities, got the conversation flowing at the first Creative Exchange (CX) hosted in Cape Town this month.

The CX is co-hosted by the Craft + Design Institute  (CDI) and the Dutch Consul-General in Cape Town ( Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Africa) as part of #cocreateSANL.

The first of five editions took place on April 20, themed Water in the City - Designing African blue-green cities for all, looked at the big picture of water in our country.

“The CX series brings together people from the water sector and our design and innovation communities, to discuss, engage, learn and spark new ideas. The future of our planet’s natural ecosystem has never been more dependent on the design of better solutions by our human ecosystem of policy-makers, government officials, water engineers and practitioners, the private sector and civil society. In South Africa, the challenges are made so much more complex by the need to address unequal access, and the state of our infrastructure,” said Erica Elk, Group CEO of the CDI.

“As we continue to barrel into a future which is undeniably increasingly impacted by climate change caused by humans, there is great urgency to bring attention to the critical state of water. Especially with a recent United Nations report observing the fact that half a billion people in Africa are water insecure . The flooding in Kwazulu-Natal has caused tragic devastation, while conversely the Western Cape suffered severe drought very recently; all highlighting climate change is undeniably deeply impacting South Africans. We need innovative solutions to address the challenges of this century and the one way we can do so is through sharing knowledge, dialogue and inspiring new actions.”

Sebastiaan MesserschmidtConsul General from the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, said that among the many areas of collaboration between the South African and the Dutch government, water – it’s management, treatment and sustainable use – is a key issue.

“Innovation is also about water management: How do you govern water? Who’s responsible for what? And, how do make sure that it’s inclusive, making sure services get delivered to everybody and actually creating a space where everybody is benefitting from the system?”

Check out the Creative Exchange sessions