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CDI helps Westlake community create vision for the future

Wednesday, 02 August 2017   (0 Comments)
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The CDI, with the assistance of Anne Marie Hanna of Commpost, facilitated a vibrant community visioning workshop for the community of Westlake on Saturday, 8 July 2017. This was an initiative, driven by the Westlake United Church Trust (WUCT), which followed on from an initial workshop hosted as part of the World Design Capital initiative in 2014. It aimed at identifying the strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities and constraints within the community, as well as to unearth community needs and a coherent vision for its growth and prosperity.

The workshop space was set up to ensure maximum engagement and participation to unearth insights from all who attended. The ideas, insights, and perspectives gleaned from more than 50 diverse participants, representing development groups, leadership, educators, the health sector, ward councillors, business persons, the local taxi association, youth and the elders among others were creatively documented and have been given to the WUCT to analyse further.

Common themes that emerged on the day included crime, the need for a local bus service, the role of leadership, community building, affordable housing, better connectivity through space, interactive outdoor spaces and support and integration of the youth and elderly.

“The event was a unique opportunity to help ensure that future development of the community fits the community’s vision and goals, responds to the community’s needs,” said Lisa Parkes of the CDI’s Human Capital Development programme.

The intention is that these insights will inform future planning for the WUCT as well as be presented to important role-players such as government, potential funders and non-profit organisations working in the area to assist them in serving the community better.

WUCT acts as a hub for the community of approximately 8 000 people who reside in Westlake. This village, in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, is known as the ‘forgotten village’ and is characterised by a general feeling of neglect and hopelessness. Many of the residents have been relocated from the surrounding farms in the area and feel disconnected from potential livelihoods and the surrounding communities.

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