Cape Town is developing a ‘second CBD’ that includes cycling lanes

 ·15 Aug 2022

City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member James Vos has pledged continued cooperation with the development facilitation agency for socio-economic development in the greater Tygerberg area.

Vos met with the Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) on Friday to renew assurance for Capetonians in the catchment area that the regenerative initiatives run by the GTP will continue to grow into 2023.

Under the partnership, the City’s Bellville Future City Masterplan, which aims to transform the greater Tygerberg area into a second central business district, will push ahead.

“Supporting the development of economic nodes across the metro is absolutely vital to realise more opportunities for Capetonians. This means that we can also showcase the wealth and variety of potential investments to a global audience of businesses and corporations,” said Vos.

Projects in the pipeline include a community cycling initiative, experimenting with biofuel as a solution to food waste, urban greening projects, the installation of public art, the expansion of the trolley recycling and zero waste schools project, and many more.’

The GTP and the city will work to create the innovation district, a zone specifically designed to draw public and private investment, attract entrepreneurs, start-ups, business incubators, and ultimately revitalise certain areas. Non-motorised transport alternatives – such as cycling – are also on the cards, said Vos.

“Ultimately, a systemic challenge – like so many we face in Bellville – demands a systemic solution. That is the principle that guides all our interventions.”

The GTP also plans to invest more optimally into research and innovation within the district and involve different stakeholders in finding innovative solutions in the area.

“Tygerberg and the surrounding areas are vital to greater Cape Town’s economic growth. There are several construction projects underway such as that of a mixed-use precinct at Parow Centre and Stellenbosch University’s Biomedical Research Institute. The area also boasts more than 220 retail companies.

“Several key retail developments are also underway, such as the building of high-tech storage centres for a major shopping chain. I’m very happy to share that investment values in the area between 2015 and 2019 were more than R600 million per year. Between 2010 and 2021, approved building works in the area reached R7.3 billion.

“The partnership with GTP is essential to unlocking further opportunities in the area, and I look forward to working closely with their team,” said Vos.

In May the city announced significant development plans for its Belville precinct – including affordable houses, new broadband infrastructure and non-motorised streets. The proposals are included in the local spatial development framework (LSDF) for the Bellville central business district.

In March 2021, former mayor Dan Plato launched the Bellville Future City project aimed at focusing efforts to transform the area.

“The vision of developing Bellville as Cape Town’s second CBD has been discussed for a long time and today, we are taking concrete action. We are establishing strategic forums to engage academic institutions, the business sector and civil society, which will assist our short, medium and long-term goals of revitalising the Bellville CBD,” he said at the time.

The Bellville CBD has a different DNA to Cape Town CBD, which relies heavily on office workers to generate foot traffic for businesses. Also, the Bellville CBD has traditionally been a transport funnel via the Voortrekker Road Corridor, connecting people to industrial and commercial areas across Cape Town, including nearby industrial nodes in Bellville Industria, Parow, Goodwood, Durbanville, Brackenfell, Kuils River, and Kraaifontein, the former mayor said.

There will be a great focus on investment related to land and the development of public transport. It is a long-term project that will span multiple financial years, he said.

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