Urban Forum

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 93-108

First online:

The Reverse Side of the Medal: About the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the Beautification of the N2 in Cape Town

  • Caroline NewtonAffiliated withDepartment of Architecture Sint-Lucas, Hogeschool voor Wetenschappen en KunstDepartement Industriële Wetenschappen en Technologie, Erasmus Hogeschool BrusselResearch Group Urban Planning, Department of Engineering Sciences, Hogeschool Gent Email author 

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This paper aims to show the reverse side of the (football) medal. The N2 gateway project in Cape Town is presented, by government and media, as a ‘flagship’ project of the new Breaking New Ground strategy, to fight the housing backlog of 400,000 houses in the city. But I want to argue that the fast-tracking of the project has to be understood as a beautification strategy to prepare the city for 2010. Massive slum eradication and the construction of ‘beautiful formal housing opportunities’ between the airport and the mother city are becoming a painful reminder of the forced removals under the apartheid regime.


Mega events Beautification processes Cape Town Slum eradication Urban development Breaking new ground