Cape Town joins worldwide competition, launching 5 sites for carbon neutral development

The City of Cape Town is participating in the C40 Reinventing Cities Programme, a worldwide competition calling on the private sector and communities to devise carbon neutral development solutions and designs for underutilised publicly owned sites in C40 member cities. Five City owned-sites will be made available to innovative designers and implementers for carbon neutral development proposals.

Visit the C40 Reinventing Cities website for Cape Town

The purpose of the C40 Reinventing Cities Programme is to transform underutilised urban sites into beacons of zero carbon emissions and resilient development.

‘More than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, with current projections indicating that this will increase to 70% by 2050. Cape Town is no exception. Our population has increased by 56% between 1996 and 2016. This trend is set to continue as we are facing the impacts of climate change – the current drought being a key example. Sustainable development and partnerships with the private sector and communities are no longer a choice, but a prerequisite, if we want to secure a future for our residents in times of limited resources,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron.

The competition is open to the private sector who is encouraged to form multidisciplinary groups consisting of architects, urban planners and designers, developers, environmentalists, and representatives from the local community.

As part of a two-stage process, the teams must submit their expression of interest bid proposals for the development of the underutilised City-owned sites by 30 March 2018. Up to three teams will be shortlisted to participate in a second detailed proposal phase for each site, with the winning project for each site to be selected by December 2018.

The following candidate sites form part of this competition:


Ottery site – a 48 ha plot situated along Ottery and Old Strandfontein Roads in Ottery

This site of 48 ha comprises an extensive piece of open undeveloped land in the southern suburb of Ottery, next to the existing Ottery commercial node. The City expects on this site, that will benefit from phase 2 of the City’s BRT roll-out programmes, innovative projects that will demonstrate new forms of medium to high density urban development with high environmental performance, in accordance with the objectives of the municipality to limit the ecological impact of City growth.

More information here 

Mouquet Farm

Mouquet Farm – a 2,4 ha open plot situated on the intersection of Old Kendal and Main Roads in Plumstead

Mouquet Farm is an empty 2.4 ha plot, well connected by roads and public transportation. With the Main Road development corridor being targeted for significant future densification and regeneration, this undeveloped site has the potential to accommodate considerable high density and mixed use development. The City of Cape Town expects projects that will demonstrate new and innovative forms of mixed infill urban development with high environmental performance.

More information here 

Bishop Lavis

Bishop Lavis site – a 1,4 ha plot situated along Lenton Drive in the Bishop Lavis town centre
Bishop Lavis Town Centre is a 1.4 ha plot intended for a comprehensive redevelopment scheme, located in a low-density Cape Flats suburb just north of Cape Town International Airport. It enjoys an ideal situation on a BRT feeder route, with the proximity of a cluster of socio-economic and civic uses. The City expects on this site innovative projects that will demonstrate new forms of medium density urban development with high environmental performance.
More information here

Grand Parade

A section of the Grand Parade in the CBD – this section is located on the north-western edge of the Parade and is currently occupied by dilapidated trading stalls and related infrastructure

Steeped in history, this 1 ha site forms the north-western end of the Grand Parade, Cape Town‘s primary central public square and the oldest urban public open space in the country. Located directly alongside Cape Town’s primary multi-modal public transport interchange, it has a high potential to develop a mixed use medium density scheme that frames, and catalyzes the improvement of this unique and wonderful place.

More information here

Civic Centre

Civic Centre parking site – an open surface car park of approximately 1 ha, located adjacent to the Civic Centre in the Cape Town CBD

This open and underutilized surface car park of approximately 1 ha, forming part of the City of Cape Town municipal corporate headquarters precinct, is located right in the centre of Cape Town CBD, Cape Town’s primary urban node, where the highest density of development and widest range of higher order uses and facilities occur. This site has the potential to accommodate considerable high density and mixed use development.

More information here 

The urban development proposals to be submitted must address the following, among others:

  • Reduced energy demand
  • Energy and resource efficiency
  • Use of renewable energy, use of low-carbon energy
  • Resilience and adaptation
  • Green mobility
  • Inclusionary approach and community benefit
  • Innovative architecture and urban design

‘Importantly, the design proposals must facilitate and encourage walking, cycling, the use of public transport and lift clubs, and at the same time discourage private vehicle use with only one occupant. We are all aware of the challenges we are facing in Cape Town with peak hour congestion and the consequences associated with it. By prioritising dense, transit-oriented growth and development along integration zones, we seek to create more inclusive communities with access to improved services, job opportunities, and affordable housing and public transport. Moreover, urban density can create the possibility for a better quality of life and a lower carbon footprint through more efficient infrastructure and planning,’ said Councillor Herron.

Notes :

  1. Read the full media release by the City of Cape Town here
  2. Cape Town is a signatory to C40, a global network of large cities taking action to address climate change by developing and implementing policies and programmes that generate reductions in both greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks.