World Cup written in a book


The book's editor, Zahira AsmalThe book's editor, Zahira Asmal

SOUTH African experiences of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ have been bound together in a book entitled Reflections & Opportunities: Design, Cities and the World Cup, which was launched at the offices of the Johannesburg Development Agency in Newtown.

The book was an opportunity for South African cities to showcase their investment in and infrastructure built for the month-long mega event. It also grapples with the challenges that were faced and the solutions that were found. It questions the role the World Cup played in forging a greater South African society.

Numerous public spaces and transport projects are examined in the book, which was launched on 12 June, such as Joburg's Rea Vaya. Rea Vaya, the mass Bus Rapid Transit system, is one of the City's flagship projects. It was established in 2009 and offers fast, safe and affordable public transport.

The JDA has been closely involved in its roll-out, and is responsible for building the Rea Vaya stations and is involved in implementing all the IT systems, making the agency the best place to host the book launch. One of the JDA's key objectives is to improve the city for locals and visitors. According to the book's editor, Zahira Asmal, this mirrors the key focus areas of Reflections & Opportunities and DESIGNING_SOUTH AFRICA, the organisation that published the book.

It is seen as the first step in fostering a global discussion on the role of mega events in cities, and how they can be better used to catalyse urban solutions, be they spatial, social or infrastructure-oriented, notes Asmal. In keeping with this concept of knowledge exchange, she also conducted a series of seminars in Brazil, in collaboration with the South African consul-general in São Paulo.

The book examines numerous public spaces and transport projectsThe book examines numerous public spaces and transport projects

Brazil is the host of the next football World Cup, taking place in 2014. "The World Cup 2010 must be seen as an investment and not an expense," Asmal points out.

While in the South American country, she was able to enlighten stakeholders about South African expertise and achievements; this has led to the establishment of DESIGNING_BRASIL.

The book, in English and Portuguese, is divided into two. Contributors include the African Centre for Cities director, Professor Edgar Pieterse; architect Henning Rasmuss; Oliver Stuenkel, an international relations professor; and Cape Peninsula University of Technology's Professor Brendan Knott.

DESIGNING_SOUTHAFRICA will represent South Africa at the International Architecture and Design Showcase in Britain. This is a three-month season of events and exhibitions organised by the British Council. Books can be ordered directly from DESIGNING_SOUTH AFRICA by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or from Exclusive Book outlets for R325.

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