CTPC Context


Since 2007, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) students have travelled to Cape Town to complete their Interactive Qualifying Project, a team project involving applied research that connects science and technology with social issues and human needs. The Cape Town Project Centre (CTPC) positions students in local communities with sponsors to address a wide variety of socioeconomic issues. In 2011, WPI students worked with the City of Cape Town to create a vision for park and recreational spaces in the Black River Corridor to ultimately improve the socioeconomic potential of the river. This year’s project continues this vision and focuses on a specific section of the footpath near Two Rivers Urban Park (TRUP), which is next to Oude Molen Eco Village (OMEV), Alexandra Hospital and Maitland Garden Village (MGV). This year for the Black River Pathway project, our group will focus research on past projects’ successes while incorporating innovative developments specific to OMEV and MGV. Potential developments for this year include the role of agriculture, tourism, history, and culture in these communities.

We intend to work closely with the 2012 Rooftop Garden group for insight into agriculture. We would like to work closely with the 2012 Maitland Garden Village group because we are interested in the same community and can collaborate on the historical and cultural findings.

This project is guided through the process of Shared Action Learning (SAL), a philosophy used by all 2012 CTPC projects. SAL provides teams with a way to think about and engage in partnerships, something that is both necessary and rewarding once in Cape Town. This method focuses on sharing knowledge, ideas, resources, inspiration; taking action that supports creativity and community growth; and learning from our interactions and research, through group and personal reflections. Through SAL, our group hopes to stay open and flexible throughout project development, in order to effectively learn from our experiences and adjust as necessary throughout the process (Jiusto, et al., 2012).










The advantage of looking at past WPI projects is that our team can learn from their processes, successes and challenges.  The intent of our project is to use the area around the Black River to create a multi-functional space that is utilised by the surrounding communities, particularly for job creation.  By looking at past projects in the communities, the team gains insight into the dynamics of the community and what efforts have been done already to better the area.  In terms of job creation, past projects involving entrepreneurship and agriculture are invaluable in understanding potential methods and ideas that can work along the Black River.  This is especially true when analysing the work along the Black River in 2011 which gives our team a foundation for the basis of this project.


Surrounding Communities

Black River 2011

Key Themes