Field Notes

Mother City, Mother Love

While in Cape Town, we were able to witness the annual civic celebration of Carnival. This year’s event was themed “Mother City, Mother Nature” around the rich diversity both of the culture and biodiversity in the city. There was a strong message about the preciousness of all of Cape Town’s resources. Although a welcome space for tourists, the parade was certainly a celebration for the local residents.


Temporary Markets

We’ve spent some time visiting different temporary markets around the central business district. The Centre City Business Improvement District effectively manages much of the activity in these markets which are permitted in designated areas by the City. They serve a variety of venues and formats, from the pavement traders on public sidewalks offering daily fast moving goods like fruit and prepackaged foods, pedestrian stalls that are located in public areas like Green Market Square and St George Street cater to tourists with African themed decorative and craft goods, and a third type located on the roof of the Centre City train station caters to the local middle and lower class communities with clothing, electronics, and luggage. The photo here shows the Saturday Neighbourgoods Market in the Woodstock district which features locally made high-end goods. All these low barrier trading areas foster small businesses opportunities, allow for the intersection of diverse communities, and serve to activate the public spaces they occupy.