Metropolist Show

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Exploring the people and stories shaping our cities

Co-hosted by Rashiq Fataar and Matt Griffiths, the show takes a deeper look at the way in which our cities are changing, and the people, stories, events and ideas shaping them. Broadcast live from Cape Town, METROPOLIST connects with correspondents in Johannesburg, London and Lagos, bringing a global view to the way citizens and cities interact and engage.

Listen to METROPOLIST LIVE on Assembly Radio every Tuesday at 7pm GMT+2 and then podcasted online at and below.

Matt Griffiths co-owns Echo Ledge Productions, and is creatively involved in film, writing, graphic design, animation and photography. Initially involved in Future Cape Town as a media partner, Matt now hosts the radio show he helped create.
Rashiq Fataar is an urbanist and founder and Director of Future Cape Town, a non-profit organisation creating a platform for debate, awareness and action around the development of cities. Rashiq brings an in depth knowledge of Cape Town, a network to other cities, and also works as an independent consultant.

Listen to us on Assembly Radio every Tuesday at 19h00 GMT+2
Tweet: @MetropolistShow



EPISODE 1: Capital of Design

Cape Town is the World Design Capital of 2014, a title previously held by cities like Torino, Seoul and Helsinki. In our first episode we talked about what this title, which coincides with the celebration of two decades of democracy in South Africa, means for Capetonians. We unpack WDC2014 and how the people of Cape Town can get involved.

Cape Town was designated World Design Capital 2014 at the International Design Alliance (IDA) Congress in October 2011 in Taipei. This prestigious designation is bestowed biennially by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID). World Design Capitals recognise the value of design thinking, and are dedicated to using design as tool for social, cultural and economic development.

Read more about World Design Capital, Cape Town 2014 here


EPISODE 2: A Museum for Africa

In 2016, the ZEITZ Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) will open in the iconic Grain Silo building located at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront. It will become Africa’s First Major Museum of Contemporary Art. We speak with Carla White, PR and Communications Manager from the V&A waterfront, and Mark Coetzee, the chief curator and executive director for Zeitz MOCAA, about how the re-imagining of a museum in the African context, and the benefits and impact on Cape Town as a centre for art.

Zeitz MOCAA, a new not-for-profit institution, will be housed in the historic Grain Silo at the V&A Waterfront, with the V&A committing over R500-million to the development required for the establishment of the Museum. Built in 1921, and at 57m tall, the Grain Silo remains an icon of the Cape Town skyline.

Read more about the museum here


EPISODE 3: Mega Events


In 2010, South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup, with local and international media declaring it a major success. Cape Town, played a major part, hosting 7 matches which included one semi-final. In 1997, Cape Town also bid for the 2004 Olympic which went to the city of Athens. As we look to the future, the question of bidding for the Olympic Games is once again up for discussion. We take a closer look at where Cape Town is headed and what it needs to think about to benefit from mega-events.


EPISODE 4: After 2013


With 2013 behind us we take a look at the major events of the past year. Have they been dealt with and how will they affect the year to come? … In the second half of the show we look forward into 2014 and what the year ahead will hold for our people and cities.


EPISODE 5: A New City Centre


Cities are complex networks, of people, infrastructure, nature, ideas and so much more. So how important are nodes, centres and hubs in the grand scheme? For Cape Town, the Cape Town CBD is the obvious economic, tourism and business centre, but where do areas like Century City, Bellville, Claremont and Khayelitsha fit into the puzzle?

In a recent article we outlined 10 of the key ideas which make the case for Bellville Central area as one such node which includes its strategic location for freight, public transport, student housing, available land and more.

On Metropolist this week, we interview Shahid Solomon, the Executive Programme Director of the Greater Tygerberg Partnership and hear more about the efforts to make Bellville a viable and exciting second node for Cape Town, as well as plans for the regeneration of the Voortrekker Road corridor.


EPISODE 6: The Future of Townships


Langa, named after chief Langalibalele, is the oldest formal township of Cape Town, established in 1927 under the 1923 Urban Areas Act. It lies between the N2 and the N7 national roads and behind the Athlone Power Station, now abandoned and soon to be developed (but into what has not yet been decided). The enforcement of the Group Areas Act of 1950 only further cemented Langa’s place as a segregated community for black African urban migrants. So by 1959, Langa become the only formal housing base for black Africans in Cape Town and was massively overcrowded and followed by uncontrollable squatting as a bitter result. In the advent of population overflow, colonial authorities imposed measures of control with the development of barracks to house migrants. It also led to a spill over into the formation of new townships to alleviate overcrowding and more significantly, the development of a rich cultural life i.e. a vibrant jazz and artistic community, along with social and sporting societies. Slowly but surely a number of facilities sprang up to accommodate these events as well as social initiatives in post-democratic South Africa such as the Gugu S’Thebe Cultural Centre and the infamous N2 Gateway Project.

The Langa Quarter is a more prominent initiative offering a sustainable solution to improving the livelihoods of Langa residents. Guided by Tony Elvin, the project aims to facilitate job creation by enabling Langa to be one of the leading township tourist destinations via a step-by-step process. By tapping into tourism incentives through economic development, there is the potential to foster connectivity and inclusion with communities in and outside of Langa. The foundation for this is suggested to be in place with much public investment into improving transportation infrastructure which has been evident with the improvement and upgrade of the Langa train station.

What is the future of Langa and other townships, and how can we re-imagine the future of many townships as places of economic growth and investment? This week we interview Tony Elvin of Langa Quarter and Vuyisa Qabaka, an entrepreneur and thought leader on township issues.

EPISODE 7: What Makes A Liveable City


What are the indicators which Liveable cities are measured by? Is this something we should aspire to? Do these ratings cover all aspects of why people love the cities they live in? Our guest this week is Brett Petzer, Masters Student in Planning and FCT team member.

We discuss these as well as the recent Future Cape Town #CityTalk and Walking Tour on the topic.


EPISODE 8: The Face of Cities

We discuss the face of our cities, both literal and figurative. How are cities seen by the world? What is the face of Paris, New York or Cape Town? Can cities be marketed just like any other brand and does architecture really have a role to play?

We speak to Hilary Alexander about the competition to redesign the facade of the Naspers building on the foreshore. Also in studio, our correspondent on architecture, Henry Abosi, who joins the conversation.


EPISODE 9: The Youth Shaping our Cities

During this show we hear from some leading young people about what they want from cities and how they intend on shaping the future of our cities. Read our article on the role young people can play in shaping our cities here.


EPISODE 10: Cycling in the City

Want to stop wasting your money on petrol? Want to beat the hours of traffic? Also want to stay in shape? The benefits of cycling in the city can’t be denied yet many of us are still too scared to take to the streets. But in cities like Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Cambridge cycling is the norm. How do we overcome the hurdles of making a city cycle friendly and encouraging citizens to get on a bike rather than into their car.

On the show we discuss cycling with our studio guest Andrew Wheeldon. Andrew is the MD of the Bicycling Empowerment Network that encourages cycling and works towards cycling infrastructure.


“More than just a fair for beautiful objects”, This week we talk about Africa’s first Design Fair – GUILD, one of Cape Town’s main World Design Capital 2014 events. The fair is hosted over 11 days at the The Lookout at the V&A Waterfront and promises to become a hub of design activity that will inspire South Africans and international visitors.

During our show we speak to co-founder and director of Southern Guild, Trevyn McGowan who believes that, “in the established world of collectible design South Africa has something very new to say”. Join the conversation as we discuss how to support local design and why the collaboration between international and local design is important for Cape Town and cities as a whole.


With an estimated 60% of the worlds population living in cities by 2030, the need for a sustainable city is the need for our survival. What makes a truely sustainable city and how can city dwellers live in a sustainable way. On this edition of Metropolist we talk about sustainablity, what is sustainabilty and what is the role of recycling in the future of our people and cities?


EPISODE 13: Tourism in Cape Town

Cape Town is a cultural melting pot with a rich heritage, beautiful landscape and colourful people. From the mountain to the sea, sporting events to design and art, culture to commerce, there’s something for everyone in the Mother City making it a top tourist destination employing 150 000 people and contributing R18 billion rand to the economy. Today we discuss both the importance, and the possibilities of tourism in Cape Town with Enver Duminy, Executive Manager at Cape Town Tourism.


EPISODE 14: African Futures

On the show we gaze into a computerised crystal ball as we look at forecasting. What can statistics and algorithms tell us of our future. Can we accurately predict outcomes, and if so how do we use this to plan our journey TO achieve a destination. Is forecasting the best way to plan for the future of our cities? Today on the show we speak to Hannah Camp who works is here working with the Institute for Security studies on their African Futures Project and with Western Cape Government on their FutureCape 2040 vision.

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