Name your Hood is an initiative headed by Bruce Good that will transform the neighbourhoods of Cape Town. We got a chance to ask him more about what Name Your Hood means for our cities.

Tell us about Name Your Hood?

‘Name Your Hood is an interactive campaign to unearth creative and functional neighbourhood names in South Africa’s urban centres.

The campaign will ignite community spirit and creativity to produce user-friendly cities through an inclusive, democratic process. As our cities overcome their atypical histories and begin to follow international trends, the need for delineated, strongly branded neighbourhoods is apparent.

City precincts in South Africa are nameless and house disenfranchised communities. Where New York City has SoHo and TriBeCa, and London has Mayfair and Chelsea, Cape Town simply has ‘town’ or the ‘City Bowl’. Name Your Hood will create something new and vibrant to replace this through public engagement and a democratic voting system.’

How do we submit names and/or vote?

‘Two Cape Town neighbourhoods will be named per month. People are invited to submit their ideas for names over a 20-day period. A panel will then shortlist 10 names and the public will be invited to vote. The name that accumulates the most votes will be selected.

Names can be submitted via our website ( or through voting pamphlets which will be distributed throughout the city. Votes can either be entered on the website or by SMS.

The naming of the first two neighbourhoods will commence on 4 July. Entries can be submitted until 20 July, and the shortlist will be made public on 25 July. Voting closes on 4 August and the new names will be unveiled at an event on 6 August. That process then continues each month for subsequent hoods. All neighbourhoods on the map will be named by 10 December.’

What kind of opportunities will result from Name Your Hood?

‘We strongly believe that the hoods will become global brands. The mere mention of SoHo or TriBeCa in NYC conjures up certain images and associations. Once hoods have an identity, it will be easier to implement a range of initiatives and mobilise local businesses in the area. We are also working with environmental groups to implement ‘green’ initiatives in each hood.’

Give us an example of a new name

‘It’s up to individuals to submit their names. I learnt that Heritage Square (the Caveau courtyard) boasts the oldest vineyard in South Africa. So perhaps that area could be called ‘Merlot’ or ‘Vine’. In terms of other options – an area North of Wale Street could be called ‘NoWa’?’

Sponsors for Name Your Hood include  Pam Golding PropertiesGrouponMr Delivery and Vida e Caffe. We are excited to see the outcome of this great initiative and encourage everyone to have their say.

Images: Andrew Brauteseth