Cape Town launches 5 sites for carbon-neutral development

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The City of Cape Town has recently entered a global competition called the C40 Reinventing Cities Programme. Private sector and communities are asked to propose solutions and ideas around carbon-neutral development in underused public spaces. Cape Town is a C40 member city.Five sites for carbon-neutral development have been identified in Cape Town by the local government and proposals are being accepted from innovative architects, environmentalists, designers and developers. These underused city-owned spaces will be transformed into zero carbon emission developments.“Our population has increased by 56% between 1996 and 2016. This trend is set to continue as we are facing the impacts of climate change - the current drought being a key example,” says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development Councillor Brett Herron.“Sustainable development and partnerships with the private sector and communities are no longer a choice but a prerequisite, if we want to secure a future for our residents in times of limited resources,” he exclaims.

The process of the competition

The competition begins with a two-stage process whereby teams need to submit their expressions of interest in participation by Friday, 30 March 2018. These proposals will be scrutinised and the top three teams will be shortlisted to submit a second proposal outlining detailed plans for each site. The winning team will be selected at the end of 2018.These proposals need to address key issues such as reducing energy demand through the use of renewable energy, resilience and adaptation, green mobility, community benefit and inclusion, and thoughtful architecture.“Importantly, the design proposals must facilitate and encourage walking, cycling, the use of public transport and lift clubs, and at the same time, discourage private vehicle use with only one occupant,” says Herron.“We are all aware of the challenges we are facing in Cape Town with peak hour congestion and the consequences associated with it. By prioritising dense, transit-oriented growth and development along integration zones, we seek to create more inclusive communities with access to improved services, job opportunities, and affordable housing and public transport,” he adds.

Five identified sites in Cape Town

The five sites that have been identified by the City of Cape Town include:
  1. Ottery - a 480 000 sq.m plot that stands at the corner of Ottery Road and Old Strandfontein Road in Ottery. The plot is open and undeveloped, perfect for medium- to high-density urban development projects.
  2. Mouquet Farm - a 24 000 sq.m plot that is located at the corner of Kendal Road and Main Road in Plumstead. This empty plot is ideal for high-density and mixed-use urban developments as it is situated adjacent to the major public transport route.
  3. Bishop Lavis - a 14 000 sq.m paved plot located on Lenton Drive in Bishop Lavis. The sites is intended for a comprehensive redevelopment project in the low-density suburb. It is well-located nearby multiple socio-economic and civic buildings, such as a public library. This site is perfect for medium-density developments.
  4. Grand Parade - the northwestern section of the Grand Parade has been flagged as a potential development site and is currently occupied by informal trading stores. This 10 000 sq.m area of South Africa’s oldest open public space is located next to the city’s main multi-modal public transport interchange - the bus terminus and train station. It is ideal for mixed-use, medium-density projects.
  5. Civic Centre - the 10 000 sq.m parking site at the Civic Centre is an open and underused space. The site is best-suited to high-density, mixed-use developments as it is in close proximity to the city’s primary urban space - the CBD.
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