We offer a broad range of outreach opportunities for our members to become involved with in this rapidly growing and innovative portfolio.

Megan Cole

Dream Zandvlei #cocreate event

Sat, 2018-02-24
13:00 to 17:00
DREAM ZANDVLEI The shorthand for Dream Zandvlei is 'to create a world-class water sports tourism destination". Zandvlei is a special place environmentally, and is very well documented. At the same time it is a highly impacted environment,struggling with every factor that could possibly negatively impact an estuary. This is a challenge, but this also makes it a good place to research and pilot initiatives to improve how we relate to our natural environment. The Zandvlei estuary and its catchment is home to a dynamic community who look after and enjoy this special place. It is home to many recreational activities – picnicing, braaiing, dogwalking, running, sailing, canoeing, windsurfing, surfing, swimming, horses, cycling …you name it! It's an integrated sports destination dream waiting to happen. Zandvlei is also struggling. Estuaries are the toilets of the urban catchment. As one researcher puts it “Generally the prognosis for any urban system is it’s going downwards, it’s generally only a question of how fast. To see how well Zandvlei is doing is testament to the energy of the people involved and the support of the other departments in the municipality.” – Lara van Niekerk, CSIR. Thus, from a purely environmental perspective it is difficult to manage. The Zandvlei estuary in particular is the last remaining fish nursery in False Bay, making it economically important to be healthy too. From a human perspective, properties bordering the water body has higher amenity value. At the same time, they may suffer from greater risk of flooding if not properly managed. This creates continual tension between urban policies of protecting both the properties and the estuary, and developers who see an economic opportunity. Conventional estuarine management aims to restore or maintain as best as possible, the ‘natural’ state of the estuary, but in an urban environment there is no way of knowing what the natural state was, and/or the natural state has become impossible to obtain. But what is the alternative? Aiming to manage an estuary as close as possible to an envisaged natural state is expensive, and a Sisyphean task, as one stakeholder says “Even when it is working perfectly we are only one step above crisis”. In a developing and highly unequal country like South Africa, it is particularly difficult to balance the budget and ensure funding to maintain the estuary, some of the main challenges being sediment management, nutrient management and litter removal. To ensure the health and continued survival of the communities around Zandvlei, we need to explore ways to economically sustain the activities that keep Zandvlei healthy. Something called 'Ecological urbanism' may be a start. This is a continual process. We are using the #cocreate Festival to dedicate some time to cocreate this vision and hopefully visualise it and get it into a format to apply for international funding, and prepare to enter international design competitions. Everyone is invited to come, especially if you have specific aspects that would do well to get input from people not familiar with Zandvlei.

Legacy Society Event

Thu, 2018-03-22
11:00 to 12:30
Dr Russell Ally will introduce the new president of the legacy society, Hugh Amoore.