Cape Town is the second-most populous urban area in South Africa after Johannesburg. The city has a population of 433,688 inhabitants and the metropolitan municipality a population of 3.7 million inhabitants. It is also the capital and primate city of the Western Cape province. As the seat of the Parliament of South Africa, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, reflecting its role as a major destination for immigrants and expatriates to South Africa. The city was named the World Design Capital for 2014 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.
The City of Cape Town, has through its Built Environment Performance Plan (BEPP) highlighted the importance of spatial transformation of this city. It has identified two important integration zones in line with the Urban Networks Strategy: Voortrekker Road Corridor and the Metro South East Integration Zones where it intends to implement its, newly approved, transit-oriented development (TOD) strategic framework. The Cities Support Programme (CSP) has supported the built environment planning within the city, commissioning work to assess the readiness of their TOD catalytic projects and placing them in a project pipeline, assessing the potential of Land Value Capture to fund public transport projects, assessing the housing market and addressing the ability of the institution to engage effectively with citizens through new modalities as well as manage its delivery programme transversally across institutional silos. Specific project preparation support has been provided to the city through an Urban Land Initiative Panel review of the Voortrekker Road Corridor, a Market Assessment of the Athlone Power Station Project and most recently the undertaking of a rapid panel-based peer review of the Conradie Better Living Exemplar Project.
The principle objective of the City of Cape Town’s Economic Growth Strategy is to grow the economy and create jobs. It presents the city’s response to one of the most pressing challenges facing Cape Town in the years ahead: the high level of unemployment and poverty. At the same time, the demand for services is growing every year which, when combined with unstable levels of unemployment, will result in an unsustainable long term social trajectory.
The City of Cape Town has also developed a draft Green Economy Policy, a draft Climate Change Policy, and a draft Environmental Strategy, all of which speak to the city’s desire to harness the inherent value of the environment for the benefit of residents whilst simultaneously preserving the environmental footprint of Cape Town and, where appropriate, expanding it.
The integration of environmental awareness when considering service delivery and urban densification is crucial to achieving the municipality’s objectives of facilitating a sustainable, inclusive, and parity-seeking society.