City to develop urban inner core

Ward 113 councillor Dr Joy McCarthy and Councillor Brett Herron.

The City of Cape Town aims to build an inclusive, integrated and vibrant city, transport and urban development Mayco member Brett Herron told a meeting last week.

He spoke about the Municipal Spatial Development Framework (MSDF) to about 30 people at the Milnerton library on Wednesday February 21.

“Spatial transformation requires the creation of access to more opportunities for more people,” Mr Herron said. “To achieve this, the City needs an inward growth focus and investment to support dense, diverse and transit orientated land use.”

Most of the city’s poor lived between 45 to 70km away from work opportunities in the heart of the city, he said.

The highest demand for public transport was between the south east and the CBD areas.

“We want to remove the long distances people have to travel to get to work,” said Mr Herron.

To achieve that business nodes needed to make room for living space so people could live closer to their jobs and put more of the money they spent on commuting into their own pockets.

Mr Herron said there was severe congestion on inbound routes, growing worse towards the CBD.

“The city centre has 220 000 vehicles going in every day.”

The peak periods on major routes had gone from two hours to four hours in the last 10 years, aggravated by the “collapse” of the railway system.

Mr Herron said the City wanted to create an “urban inner core” that would ensure that all new public facilities make use of land in an optimal manner.

He said this plan relied on an effective public system.

The urban inner core would focus on development going “inward not outward” said Mr Herron.

His list of land-use guidelines for the urban inner core included, among other things, to avoid land uses such as single residential developments around main transport corridors and stations, and single story schools and sports fields that are not shared.

Instead, the urban inner core would consist of multi-storey buildings accessible via public transport, and high rise buildings would be designed in a manner that would allow them to be converted between residential and non-residential uses.