This project arose out of a recognition that our economic growth and physical expansion are both happening at rates that are leading to environmental degradation. In order to stop this from happening further, we realised we needed to come up with a strategy that explained to people more about their own carbon footprints, and gave people real-time and concrete solutions that they could activate to reduce their carbon emissions. In order to focus in on a targeted area, we decided to look more closely at the Central City. As a space, the Central City: Is the largest economic node in the metro-region: Around 25% of our metro-region’s economic activity takes place here each day, and its influence cannot be underestimated.Takes in huge population movements each day as commuters and visitors come and go from the Central CityHas a strong need to densifyand bring more people to live and work hereWe must ask ourselves: How can we collaborate to gather and share knowledge on our carbon realities in order to influence our environmental future? It is thus a goal of this project to tranformthe Central City into a “living laboratory” to find new ways of reducing the environmental impact of urban areas in Africa.
Within the context of this project, it’s important to emphasise the changing nature of geography. For some, “Central City” means the heart of the CBD. For others, it includes Woodstock, Greenpoint, and other areas.For our project, the Central City serves as a starting point: A place where data is relatively available and a space that allows for strong connections and collaborations.We’re going to start this year by looking at spaces that cover the City Bowl and the Waterfront, including the fringes on either side of the boundary. As the project grows, it is our hope that we’ll be able to start incorporating a growing body of available data to expand the physical area of the initiative.
Importantly, the project is housed within the Cape Town Partnership’s Central City Development Strategy: A 10-year vision of a more sustainable and inclusive Central City.The CCDS is set up over five main pillars. Importantly, environmental sustainability permeates across all of these sectors to show just how interconnected the theme is.Importantly, we must acknowledge that, until this point, there hasn’t been a coordinated or coherent approach to sustainability in the Central City: It has either been framed by explicit demand (we all remember the power cuts of 2008) or policy initiative. With this strategy, we want to change this. By looking at the Central City as a true Crossroads of Cape Town, we can focus this strategy to not only reach those who live and work in the Central City, but also reach those from across the metro– the people who move through the Central City each day: Commuters, learners, thinkers, children, and more.
This project aims to be a first-year research initiative that results in a multi-year strategy. This strategy will offer clear opportunities for multiple stakeholder groups in the Central City to reduce their carbon footprint. The strategy will also lay the groundwork for further research opportunities into environmental mitigation in the Central CityWe’re starting with a mapping and data exercise to figure out exactly what the Central City’s carbon footprint looks like. We’ll then take this and make it into a strategy that is both comprehensive of data and accessible to all– in the strategy will be suggested solutions and business cases for sustainability. We want to help businesses, employees, tenants, property owners, and others all adopt more sustainable practices.The project will combine the best of research and communication, helping to deliver the knowledge to the people who can help to make the changes on the ground. We don’t aim to add a new layer of policy to the mix, but instead aim to bring more partners to the table to talk about practical implementation.
The Infrastructural Assessment Study breaks down into three phases:Phase One: Assess the necessity of the infrastructure study and commission the study: Why do we need to know what’s under our ground? Complete.Phase Two: Conduct an extended study to determine the present state of our infrastructure: What is the capacity of our water, sewerage, electricity, road, stormwater drainage, and other systems? Where is there room for more capacity, and where is capacity currently at maximum. Complete. Paid for by Province.Phase Three: Create a modelling system to forecast the impacts of new developments on existing infrastructure framework: Where can we build, and where must building be halted? Where does new infrastructural investment need to be made? TO BE COMPLETED.
We are currently in the data collection phase of our project. Looking at mainly Electricity and Transport DataThis is where we’d like to begin discussing how our various partners can help add to the richness of the information that this research study will put forward As we hear about further case studies from around the world, keep in mind the goals and expected deliverables of our own initiative in Cape Town, and the various ways we can adapt international best-practice to our own context.
Public Workshop Presentation: Maintain a quality and sustainable urban environment
A Low-Carbon Central City: Creatinga sustainable and resilient urbanenvironmentA Project Overview
THE CENTRAL CITY DEVELOPMENTSTRATEGY:1. Create a Premier Business Location2. Maintain a Quality and Sustainable Urban Environment3. Develop the Central City as a Popular Destination4. Enhance the Knowledge, Creativity and Innovation of the Central City5. Keep the Central City as the Heart and Soul of Cape Town
PROJECT GOALS:• Map the carbon footprint of the Central City area• Develop a strategy for reducing this carbon footprint:• Business, resident, commuter targeted interventions• Bring the information to the public and activate strategicstakeholder networks to make a lasting difference• Create a working platform to connect knowledge andgovernment policy with the people making the changeson the ground• Develop a multi-year engagement strategy to take theproject forward• Fundraise to ensure programme longevity
PARTNERSProject Team:• The Cape Town Partnership: A non-profit collaborationmandated to increase the socio-economic development ofCape Town’s Central City• Sustainable Energy Africa: A research organisation thatenhances capacity building, information dissemination,lobbying and networking efforts to promote sustainableenergy practices in South Africa• Stockholm Environment Institute: International strategicpartnerFunders:• Swedish International Development Agency: The officialdevelopment organisation of Sweden has provided projectfunding for the Central City Low-Carbon Strategy
PROJECT TIMELINES:• January: Funding approved• January – May: Data collection and evaluation• April: Public Launch of the Low-Carbon Strategy• June - August: Central City Low-Carbon Strategydevelopment• September-October: Evaluation ofCommunications component: How to get peopleto change?• October-December: Roll-out of communicationsstrategy and public engagement process