The sky seems limited in new City proposal

Future Cape Town is encouraged by a small step upward, but feels the City of Cape Town can stretch its leap into urbanism more effectively, after it proposed a lift of height restrictions in the Foreshore and provisional parking to support the planned expansion of CTICC this week.

The City’s Tower Block Development above the CTICC proposes the following:

(i)            An amendment to the height restriction from the current 54 meters to 80 meters, and,

(ii)          The provision of additional parking which will be provided in a structure parkade (basement + 3 levels) to be developed within the road reserve of the Table Bay Boulevard.

“The area has no heritage constraints and the prime nature of the property offers a perfect mix for the City to be bold and set new global standards,” says Future Cape Town MD Rashiq Fataar

The new urbanism that Future Cape Town aspires to for Cape Town’s CBD is, however, unlikely to be realised by the current process. Another multi-level parkade on the Foreshore will be a stumbling block for efforts to connect the city and its citizens to the world-class harbour and Atlantic Ocean, already hidden behind a few man-made obstacles.

The 80m-height restriction, although already a concession on the previous 54m limit, is somewhat counterintuitive. This decision does not seem to align with the recently released draft Tall-Buildings Policy, which in some regard aims to deal with sprawl within the CBD. It is unclear what is being protected on the Foreshore that disallows more height. Future Cape Town considers the Foreshore an ideal and safe opportunity to promote taller buildings. This new business district continues to expand and grow. This could result in a desired height recommendation, rather than a cap on the height, without any sound justification.

The proposal for a parkade between the Foreshore Freeways is disappointing in light of the importance of pursuing links between the city and the sea.

Some elaboration on this structure is required in order to align urban planning with

(i)            The Central City Development Strategy, and,

(ii)          Joint efforts around the Port Revitalization Project

“Building a bulky car-park between what could be Cape Town’s future cruise terminal and the financial district is short-sighted. We should be upgrading public spaces beneath the freeways and building parking garages underground, not cutting the city off from the harbour,” says Fataar.

It is concerning that a decision on such a structure is expedited without any decision being taken on the future of the Foreshore Freeways in its entirety. “The precedent the parkade structure would set for future proposals or developments between the Foreshore Freeways is troubling, especially in the absence of a masterplan or framework to guide city planners”, concludes Fataar.

“Were we forward thinking, we might question how each aspect of the CTICC expansion could benefit the city beyond its direct contribution. When this approach is applied to the parkade, it offers the opportunity to create a park-and-ride facility on cheaper land outside of the CBD which, when linked with existing and proposed infrastructure, could service the CBD as a whole rather than simply providing infrastructure to delegates and employees”, says Future Cape Town’s Robert Bowen.

Future Cape Town encourages further thought on this proposal, and offer our time and resources to engage with a wider audience and future generation of the City to help find better solutions.


Issued by: Media Office, Future Cape Town