Name Your Hood- It’s time to leave your mark on Cape Town

You’ll remember that last week MyCityByNight went to the launch of Name Your Hood at the Freeworld Design Centre in the heart of Cape Town’s city centre. We were so excited by what was revealed to us on the night that we couldnt stop tweeting and causing a general fuss about the initiative.

Here’s our take:

If you think about major cities from around the World the first thing that springs to mind has to be the different neighbourhoods and their uniqueness-

Tribeca – NYC. Triangle below Canal street.

Soho- London. A former rabbit hunting cry

Soweto- Jozi. South Western Townships

Alphabet City- NYC. From avenues A, B, C, & D.

Each of these little pockets has a distinct feel to them, they all have their own personas, cultural nuances and personalities/people that define them. For far too long we’ve been lacking that uniqueness in Cape Town, with a massive area at the centre of the city grouped together quite primitively as… “Town” or the “City Bowl”. If one was to take a deeper look into this fairly large area you would notice that there are several little pockets and styles of entertainment, buildings, people and food that really can only be found in that particular grouping of Streets.

Some of these groupings have already been given names such as Bo-Kaap, which is a traditional centre for the Cape Muslim community, rich in colour and old world spirit. The idea is for the residents of Cape Town to make use of online, sms and old school paper ballots to vote on the new names for the areas within Cape Town city centre- thereby determining the future of how our city is navigated and referred to.

Name Your Hood has fairly far reaching consequences in terms of property prices as well- hence the involvement of Pam Golding. Its not hard to imagine that property prices determined by “hood” instead of being clumped under the banner of City Bowl. By crossing a street, one could now walk straight into a design or architecture hub with cool looking buildings and trendy shops- with the appropriate price tag for property in this area. It also makes life a whole lot easier when using Mr Delivery for food or Rikkis Cabs for getting around town when you are wasted. Different rates could be offered dependant on which hood you were in.

Name Your Hood will also have brand ambassadors for each hood along with an official website, which in our minds would be similar to MyCityByNight with the addition of interviews and interesting articles based on content that is specific to that hood.

The boys over here at MCBN have been so amped about Name Your Hood that we’ve come up with our very own name for the area of Cape Town where our HQ is based… Wembley South Side- WeSoSi (a clever use of letters in the address along with a fairly obvious reference to the Psy’d out kids that inhabit this area). Hopefully the name will stick.

From today you will be able to log onto the Name Your Hood website and use Google Maps to browse virtual renditions of the areas and select the one that you would like to name. After that all hood name suggestions will be put before a panel of architects, planners, musicians, local celebrities and historians. This panel will create a shortlist of the best names chosen for each hood and from this shortlist the best name for each hood will then be decided by public vote.

It really is a fairly awesome initiative that we can’t wait to get everyone involved in! So dont waste any time- get over to

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Im a guy with a very particular view of life... im not quite sure what that view is just yet, but when I find out I'll be sure to let you know...