Cape Town has submitted its bid to be World Design Capital in 2014, the city said on Wednesday.
The biannual award is given to a city by the Canada-based International Council for Societies of Industrial Design.
It recognises cities that use design for their social, economic and cultural development.
The City of Cape Town said the theme of its bid was "Live design: Transform life".
Mayor Dan Plato said 2014 would represent a significant milestone for the city should it win the bid.
"The year 2014 will be the 20th anniversary of our democracy. In 1994 this council began a process of reconstruction and reconnecting a city that had been physically, socially, economically, culturally and emotionally divided," he said in accepting a copy of the 465-page bid book.
The bid focused on socially responsive design and was organised broadly across the concepts rebuilding communities, reconnecting through infrastructure, and repositioning for the future.
Plato said the World Design Capital designation gave the winning city a global focus both in the lead up to and during a year-long programme of design-led events.
The bid process encouraged competing cities to use design to create a blueprint for their future development and positioning in a global marketplace.
Plato said Cape Town would know by the end of June whether it had been shortlisted, and by October whether its bid had been successful.
This would give the city just over two years to prepare.
Previous winners included Torino, Italy, in 2008 and Seoul, South Korea, in 2010. Helsinki in Finland will be the World Design Capital in 2012.