The Cape Town Project Centre was established in 2007 to engage students and faculty in research, education and action in support of sustainable community development in informal settlements and other disadvantaged communities in and around Cape Town, South Africa. Informal settlements (shantytowns) are a global urban phenomenon, as migrants move to cities in search of new economic and social opportunities, establishing “temporary” communities where large numbers of people live in unhealthy and often dispiriting shack homes with inadequate access to water, sanitation, jobs, health and educational services, and many essential household and community amenities. Despite challenges, informal settlements are also often vibrant, culturally rich, lively communities with many people working toward better futures.
The CTPC brings together students and faculty from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, located in Massachusetts, USA, with partners including the City of Cape Town, Stellenbosch Municipality, Shack Dwellers International, and other NGOs, businesses, and academic institutions. We have worked extensively in Monwabisi Park informal settlement in Khayelitsha, and presently we are working together with partners in Langrug informal settlement near Franschhoek, Maitland Garden Village, Oude Molen Eco Village, Manenberg township, and along the Black River in Cape Town.
The program provides WPI students opportunities to engage in real “society-technology” research projects to further their growth as critical thinkers, problem-solvers, and engaged global citizens. This website, which is still under development, and the research it reports is largely a product of student work.
We hope you will enjoy exploring these pages, and we welcome expressions of interest and potential collaboration.