Bold City: Public Transport Accessibility

This presentation by Frank Cummings was made at the third Bold City mini-conference hosted at The Bank on Harrington Street. Read more here.

Speaker:  Frank Cummings (Co-Founder and Director of RegenCo Holdings)

Topic: Public Transport Accessibility


Cities are growing at a rapid rate in order to meet the demands of a growing population. Frank Cummings explains that the driving factors of government in reference to the One Cape 2040 plan is in the eradication of informality by 2040. The current backlog of housing is outstripping the growth rate of new housing. In order to meet demand Cape Town will need to build 100,000 new homes per annum and is currently building 12,000 per annum. This indicates that eradicating informality by 2040 will be an enormous task requiring over 40,000 ha of land with a growth in density.

Traditional housing models of informality include walkups and RDP/BNG housing that generally consists of low quality builds, lacks character and  has no community infrastructure. Most informal communities are located on peripheries of the city leading to increased marginalisation and inequality.The solution needs to move away from the contrived gated suburban community model where access to public transport is often overlooked and towards increasing density in existing built areas.

Cape Town is unlike many cities around the world with many land parcels and pockets of vacant land closer to transport nodes that could easily be developed. The benefits of increasing density includes increasing the PTAL (Public Transport Accessibility Level) which means better access to public transport nodes, increased natural surveillance resulting in safer suburbs and better access to services and opportunity. With this in mind Frank Cummings states that the accessibility matrix (PTAL) should frame decision making when providing housing solutions to eradicate informality by 2040. Tenure Blind Development is also another socially sustainable factor to consider if inclusivity and equity is to achieved in housing developments. This kind of development has been highly successful in Europe solving housing demand while also creating a socially equitable community. It is hoped that in striving to achieve the goals outlined in the One Cape 2040 development plan, the Western Cape Municipality will consider factors of accessibility, equity and inclusivity in order for development to depart from traditional and historical methods in favour of sustainable development.