Name Your Hood

WORDS: Remy Raitt

The exciting new Name Your Hood venture aims to bring Cape Town communities closer together.

Name Your Hood is an appeal to Capetonians to consider the smaller, interlocking areas in which they live, work, pray and play and to explore the unique characteristics, qualities and heritages possessed by each.

The names behind the concept – local entrepreneurs, Bruce Good and Nic Lamond – recently launched the campaign to unearth the most creative and functional names for the city’s diverse neighbourhoods – names that will resonate with the people who occupy them.

Like Soho, Tribeca or The Bronx, Name Your Hood is hoping to put a name to the smaller, unnamed areas that together form the region currently known simply as the city bowl. Bruce says that the aim is not to rename suburbs but rather make the inner city more navigable through informed names for spaces that currently go nameless. Plus, he says, “why wouldn’t you want to name a place that you love?”.

At the launch, a panel discussion was held between Bruce, Mokena Makeka (founder of Makeka Design Laboratories), Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana (MD of Cape Town Partnership) and Mariette du Toit (CEO of Cape Town Tourism).

The panel spoke about the fact that speeding up the organic process of nicknaming a hood is not simply about giving an area a name, or even a pop culture, historical or geographical reference, but rather has the potential to be a catalyst that could see communities attaching value and currency to the names, whether these be the names given through this project or as a result of it.

Submissions to name the first two hoods – the areas around upper Kloof Street and Bree Street – opened on 4 July. Submissions can be made by anyone online or at voting booths located in stores around the city.

Once all submissions have been made, a panel of judges – made up of local celebrities, Cape Town officials and design and media professionals – will create a shortlist, which the public will then get to vote on.

The Name Your Hood project aims to roll out across the entire city in time. It will also launch in Johannesburg and Durban in 2012.

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