While there is an abundance of land available for development outside cities, the difficulty lies in convincing populations to move there, according to property group Knight Frank.
One of the ways people could be encouraged to do so, is by making these outlying areas more accessible, which would boost settlement and development of these areas.
A new report published by the firm looked at possible transportation options to help link satellite towns and cities with more established ones.
While motorways and rail remain the best possible option for the immediate future, other options such as Virgin’s Hyperloop One may soon be a consideration, the group said.
The brainchild of Elon Musk, the Hyperloop was originally conceived to help Californians cross the distance between San Francisco and Los Angeles in half an hour.
The project was first mooted in 2012, when Musk called for a “fifth” mode of transport to add to car, plane, boat, and train. He announced that this new innovation would be called “Hyperloop”, and would shoot travellers through vacuum tubes at 1,000 kilometres per hour.
It would be “a cross between Concorde, a railgun, and an air hockey table,” he said.
According to Knight Frank, if successful, the Hyperloop could make travel between cities much easier, taking the pressure off gridlocked roads, cutting travel times and breathing new life into and expanding the commuter belt around towns and cities.
Knight Frank noted that two companies have been working on making this concept a reality, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) and Virgin Hyperloop One.
“Both claim that this new mode of transportation could be a reality within three years. Early experiments are already taking place on the stretch of desert between Abu Dhabi and Dubai,” the group said.
“There has also been the development, by Musk, of The Boring Company, a tunnelling venture that would allow Hyperloops to be built underground. Various city councils across the US have reportedly given him the go-ahead to drill tunnels,” it said.
While the introduction of a Hyperloop in South Africa may be a pipe dream for now, estimates provided by Virgin’s Hyperloop One website provide an idea of how the system could change travel in the country.
Johannesburg to Cape Town
According to Virgin’s estimates, the Hyperloop would allow commuters to travel from Johannesburg to Cape Town in one and half hours – three times faster than by plane (including travel times to the airport, check-ins, baggage claim etc), and 10 times faster than a typical car trip.
Johannesburg to Durban
Similarly, Virgin estimates a Hyperloop trip to Durban would take just under 40 minutes. While a flight from Joburg to Durban is quite short, when factoring in the travel times, check-in et al, it can turn into a much longer journey.
Durban to Cape Town