Simon Nicks, a planner and urban designer from Cape Town won the Environmental Category of the Johnnie Walker® Celebrating Strides Awards 2010 on May 5 and has donated his R125 000 into a bursary fund for post graduate students.
Nicks is a committed environmentalist whose aim it is to “design places that are nice to live in with minimal impact on our planet’s resources”.
He says the prize package will be invested to pay for tuition for Master’s students for the next ten years. Nicks, who is the managing member of CNdV Africa, started his career as a housing activist helping communities in informal settlements resist the threat of forced removal.
He was one of 12 finalists - in four categories including design, entrepreneurship, environment and the arts - chosen for the success they achieved in their various fields.
The other winners chosen by the independent panel of judges as well as members of the public are businessman Max Maisela, author, playwright and musician Welcome Nsomi and architect Mokena Makeka.
One of Nicks’ biggest design and environmental challenges is making proposals that go against the grain of current business-as-usual mainstream thinking in government, commerce and academia.