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SACN & SACPLAN Essay Competition


African cities are experiencing the most rapid urbanisation. Cities in South Africa are no different. To ensure that our cities are able to provide opportunities and access to all their residents, we must learn to plan and implement better and make more strategic investments. Despite significant advances and progress made in cities challenges remain, and inequality and exclusion keep growing. For many people in our cities, life has not changed. Their situations seem even more dire. Why are things not working? And whose job is it to get things moving? Who does what? And what is required for us to build more inclusive and productive cities?

To build these cities we need the right kind of skills and capacity (in government as well as in private sector). Cities must get creative and innovative to achieve transformative outcomes that change lives. This may mean that plans are co-created with the people who will benefit from them. Which means that we need to encourage built environment professionals, especially planners, to do things differently and to be more responsive to finding solutions for the spatial challenges within cities.

So, we must engage young professionals to think about how they can actively and creatively influence the urban realm to make cities inclusive, resilient and sustainable, productive, well-governed spaces. It is important to involve them as contributors towards building the kind of cities we would all love to live in.

How To Enter:

Entrants are encouraged to enter individually or as a team. Each entrant/team should provide an input that responds to the following:

  • Select a City Development Strategy (CDS) of any city in South Africa and critique its strategy. This critique should include a reflection on the participatory planning process that was undertaken and how this may be improved. You may decide whether you want to select a block, street, or bigger area as your focus. Reflect on an approach to drive collective/co-created place making. You should show how this inclusive planning process contributes to a future vision for the area that makes it part of a more liveable and inclusive city.

The format for submission can be any (or a combination) of the following:

  • A written essay
  • A photo essay
  • An edited video

Deadline for submission is Friday, 7 September 2018, 11pm. All submissions are to be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information about the competition including the full Terms & Conditions please click here.

LOGO for Essay                                                                                                                                                         SACPLAN