My City InVisible launches in Cape Town

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Woman crouching on sandy beach in front of palm trees and mountains at sunset.

Hidden, forgotten, overlooked, or perhaps invisible, there are parts of the city that only a local can ever know and appreciate. These are the private domains, side streets, and ignored neighbourhoods that seem to hold little attraction to the visitor, or remain ‘off-limits’ and ‘off-grid’.

Equally, locals can become somewhat blinkered to the familiar and everyday, overlooking the novel, intriguing, and successful aspects of the environment they shape through their everyday lives. Fresh eyes and a new perspective can spot these phenomena and identify what makes them special. The My City InVisible project set out to consider multiple understandings of ‘good’ and liveable cities.

Existing city planning, policy and design discourses often overlook the heterogeneous needs, aspirations, perceptions, commitments, preferences, identities and capabilities of citizens in favour of generic top- down initiatives. The My City InVisible project aims to move beyond conventional framings of what makes a good city, and render visible the invisible characteristics of successful communities.

This exhibition explores multiple perspectives on life in Cape Town, South Africa. The apsiration is that the emerging narratives can inform and inspire efforts to address social and environmental inequalities, and grow successful communities, across the globe.

The My City Invisible project is supported by funding from the British Academy.

Read more at the project website.