Using large events to leverage urban regeneration: the 2010 FIFA World Cup ™ in the Cape Town Central City
Using large events to leverage urban regeneration: the 2010
FIFA World Cup ™ in the Cape Town Central City
By Andrew Boraine
Chief Executive of the Cape Town Partnership
The new 2010 World Cup Stadium under construction on the Green Point Urban Park
This paper gives a view on how a local urban regeneration organisation working in the city
centre of a 2010 Host City, is attempting to utilise the event to maximise development
impact and create a lasting legacy.
The Cape Town Partnership is a public/private partnership and urban regeneration company
established in 1999 to manage, promote and develop the Cape Town Central City.
Cape Town has a strong tradition of hosting large events (cycle tours, marathons, carnival,
jazz festival, international cricket and rugby) and is one of nine South African Host Cities for
the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The Partnership in conjunction with the City of Cape Town has
developed a strategy for leveraging urban regeneration and development impact from the
World Cup in the Cape Town Central City.
The overall aim of the Partnership’s 2010 efforts is getting citizens to feel that they live in a
great city, through building confidence, pride, accountability and perspective.
Specific goals are to:
1. Enhance citizen participation
2. Organise a unique and authentic Cape Town experience for visitors
3. Contribute to a well-organised and efficient event
4. Leave a lasting economic, social and cultural legacy
5. Enhance business branding and marketing of Cape Town
6. Use 2010 infrastructure preparations to mitigate the effects of global recession and
Given South Africa’s divided history, the Partnership is looking at ways in which the 2010
World Cup can promote nation building. Currently, support for different sports tends to
divide along race and class lines (a majority of South Africans, 54%, rank football as their
sport of choice, followed by 15% for rugby and 9% for cricket). This is being done by finding
ways to encourage all citizens to get behind the national football team and South African
football culture (inclusive of vuvuzelas), regardless of sport preferences.
Football culture in South Africa
One of the features of the preparations for 2010 FIFA World Cup™ is the great amount of
good work being done by public officials and professional consultants that is not being
adequately communicated to the public. Under mandate from the City of Cape Town, the
Partnership has established a 2010 Central City Partner’s Forum to communicate with all
Central City stakeholders. The Partner’s Forum is an opportunity to discuss opportunities for
retailers, suppliers, event organisers, cultural performers and advertisers arising from
preparations for 2010 around issues such as accommodation, food, travel, tours,
entertainment and gifts. This communication channel is enhanced through regular Fan Walk
tours from the CBD to the new stadium in Green Point – in particular to develop a walking
culture to and from the venue – Capetonians are not big on this.
Another way of promoting citizen participation is to imbue traditional events in the Central
City with a football ‘flavour’, e.g. the annual Twilight Run, Switching on Festival Lights,
Design Indaba and International Jazz Festival, in the build-up to 2010.
Annual Adderley Street Festival Lights event
During the World Cup, the official FIFA World Cup™ Cape Town Fan Fest, catering for 35 000
people, will operate in the Central City. The City of Cape Town will provide an additional
three public viewing areas at decentralised locations.
Unique and authentic experience for visitors
The Fan Walk will follow the traditional route of the annual Cape Minstrels Carnival, an
event stretching back to the era just after the emancipation of slaves in 1834. Fan assembly
zones, where fans can meet before a match, will happen in traditional public squares such
as the 300-year old Greenmarket Square (currently being upgraded) and fan activation
zones are being planned across the Central City in areas such as the popular Upper Long
Street entertainment district. The FIFA Fan Fest will take place on the Grand Parade, Cape
Town (and South Africa’s) oldest public square, where Nelson Mandela first addressed the
world on his release after 27 years in jail.
Nelson Mandela addresses the world from the City Hall balcony
on the Grand Parade, 1990 (picture: Chris Ledochowski)
The historic Grand Parade under construction
300 years of history: Greenmarket Square under construction
Well organised and efficient event
The Central City is strategically located between the new Green Point Stadium and the main
event transport hubs. It is also the location of 47% of available bed space in the
metropolitan area. If the Central City is not well organised and managed, it will impact
negatively on the ability of Cape Town to successfully host a memorable World Cup. Existing
security, cleansing and urban management partnerships, now in place for ten years under
the auspices of the Central City Improvement District (CCID), are being strengthened to
deliver additional services. The Partnership is also part of the City of Cape Town’s
communication effort to explain how access to and from the stadium will be organised on
match days, and to address local fears around congestion and crime associated with the
Visible policing in the Cape Town Central City
Leave a lasting legacy
The 2010 FIFA World Cup™ legacy is obviously much broader than impact in the Cape Town
Central City. For example, there are opportunities to upgrade and improve our national
information and communications technologies, satellite and fibre-optic facilities, visitor visa-
processing services, and national security plan, amongst others. Total infrastructure spend is
estimated at R410bn over five years, with the FIFA World Cup™ providing an estimated
R51bn boost to the South African GDP.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup™ has unlocked national government expenditure on public
infrastructure that would not normally be available to the City of Cape Town. The main
legacy for the city will be an upgraded rail network (including an R440m upgraded central
Cape Town Station) and the first phase of a new Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system
including a connection to the Cape Town International Airport (which itself is being
expanded). Significant investment has also been made by the City of Cape Town into
improved pedestrian environments, better public spaces and dedicated bicycle routes. Key
interchanges on the highways connecting the Central City are also being upgraded.
Public transport legacy: plan of future IRT routes
The new stadium itself (its precinct alone is 20ha in size) will create a massive sports
infrastructure legacy on the Green Point Common, lying as it does within a total area of
85ha to be known as the Green Point Urban Park, and which will include improved sports
facilities including sports fields and clubs, a 9-hole golf course and the new 12.5ha Green
Point Park, a public amenity of major metropolitan significance.
Green Point Stadium under construction, with the Central City and Table Mountain in the background
The strengthened pedestrian, new mobility transportation system and green space connections along
the Fan Walk between the CBD and the Stadium are depicted in a recent artwork by Jackson
Nkumando, commissioned by the Partnership, entitled ‘From Mountain to Sea’, currently on show at
the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
In addition to the substantial infrastructure legacy, the city will benefit from additional
(temporary and permanent) jobs, training and skills development, and greater capacity in
future to bid for and organise major events.
Business branding and marketing
Cape Town already has a strong leisure tourism brand, based on its natural attributes and its
flora and fauna. In addition, Cape Town has established itself as an event and festival city, a
place of music, entertainment and urban culture, as well as a place for meetings,
conventions and exhibitions (the Cape Town International Convention Centre hosts 50% of
all international events in Africa and 67% of international events in South Africa).
However, despite being the second largest economic node in South Africa, Cape Town does
not have a strong business brand. The 2010 FIFA World Cup™ is an opportunity to
strengthen business connections, for example, through the establishment of a Connect’d
Cape Town ‘soft landing service’ for potential investors and entrepreneurs, and a stronger
platform for economic promotion. The legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ should not be
confined to ‘hard’ infrastructure such as sports facilities and improved public transport, but
also ‘softer’ legacies such as improved networks of public/ private cooperation in the city.
Recession and recovery
In South Africa, 180 000 jobs were lost in the first quarter of 2009, and unemployment rose
from 21.9% to 23.5%. Exports are down 55% in value and tax collection is R10 billion behind
In the Central City, many business sectors are taking strain, including financial services,
retailers and tourism. Property developers face a net real interest rate increase, despite the
4% decrease in interest rates over the past year, making many planned projects unviable.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup™, through its stimulus on public spending, is helping to reduce
some of the worst effects of the recession.
In the Cape Town Central City, the Partnership has put forward a strategy to address the
effects of the recession and to speed up recovery. This includes:
1. Keep the basics in place. Continue to maintain high standards of urban
management (clean, safe, attention to detail) to offset the negative visual impact
of ground floor vacancies and to-let signs. The business area must be seen to be
cared for, especially during a recession. Strong operational partnerships between
the City and CCID are essential to address urban defects.
2. Encourage building owners to ensure that vacant ground-floor spaces are
decorated and well-maintained.
3. Enhance communications on development trends, including articles on business
and development trends and the launch of new developments, including 2010
4. Organise Central City Investment seminars to get best business minds together.
5. Expand impact of CCID job creation opportunities through partnership with the
Department of Public Works Extended Public Works Programme, focusing on
maintenance of public facilities and management of the public environment.
6. See the crisis as an opportunity and plan now for a future economic upturn,
including a 2020 CBD retail strategy, Central City Development Strategy
infrastructure capacity study, and key projects such as the expansion of the
Convention Centre, CT Station phase two upgrade and the proposed Cape Town
Cruise Liner Terminal.