Urban management models have typically been deployed successfully where the property rates base is sufficient enough to allow for Special Rated Areas (SRA) to be established. However, this model does not have direct relevance in lower-income neighbourhoods, transport interchanges, and other contexts where land ownership is complex, such as township environments. MCP is working with partners to find solutions to Targeted Improvement Districts (TIDs) to address such urban management issues.
Take for example Nolungile Public Transport Interchange. The land is owned by PRASA which hosts a vibrant mini-bus taxi rank existing alongside informal traders, and close to 60,000 commuters use the facilities during peak hours. In the future, Nolungile Station will be a critical connecting station for the Blue Downs Rail project, an 8km rail link connecting close to Kuils River station with three new stations at Blue Downs, Mfuleni and Wimbledon. The current state of the station is mired by reports of muggings, stolen CCTV cameras, and overcrowding (due to train carriages destroyed in 2018).
Urban management is a process which involves a wide range of stakeholders to coordinate local service provision to ensure that the precincts and areas are maintained to the benefit of productive places and people.
Urban management means that city governments together with other urban stakeholders – civil society, private sector, and local communities – assume an active role in mobilization, management and coordination of resources to support the objectives of urban development and ensure the vitality of cities. Municipalities take a leading role in urban management.
National Treasury, The Art of Precinct Management, page 9
One of the core programmes of the Metro Central Partnership is Urban Management, where we are working with the City of Cape Town, community groups and land owners to devise relevant, realistically achievable and inter-departmental strategies.
In collaboration with the City of Cape Town, the MCP hosted a series of workshops since 6 September 2018 with the specific aim of:
- Allowing City of Cape Town (CCT) colleagues who have mandates relating to urban management to connect with each other and with the MCP area;
- To defined urban management in the MCP context;
- To interrogate various models for urban management, in terms of their applicability to the MCP area; and
- To map the current urban management process, as dictated by policy.
Button: Download the MCP’s position on TIDs
There are a few departments within the City of Cape Town currently identifying prioritised precincts to improve planning and management interventions. Some are more focused on planning and the clustering of social facilities based on a needs-assessment matrix. Not all precincts will require the same approach, and for this reason, there is scope to test different precinct planning and management approaches for a wide range of precincts.
In this regard, the neighbourhood of Westbank offers an example of how we might view precincts differently. They do not have to be PTIs or nodes of clustered social facilities. Instead, precincts could be those that are well-used by communities and have an ecological function, for example.
To maximise impact, it will be necessary to align the various efforts. Read our position on Targeted Improvement Districts to understand the underlying principles and values which can steer this process. Urban management is clearly a complex process which requires skilful mediation and facilitation between interested and affected parties. We have learned the following lessons from our work on urban management, and we continue to support the City of Cape Town in finding lasting solutions, especially since the establishment of the Urban Management Directorates in January 2019.
- Planning, investment and management are ongoing processes. Different precincts within the MCP area have different starter conditions in terms of current levels of planned land uses, investment in private and social facilities and urban management. Implementation of planning, capital spend, investment facilitation and urban management need to be integrated.
- The public sector will have a large role to play in any management initiative predominantly in the beginning, before, for example, anchor tenants and property ownership is enabled
- There are various social enterprises and community-led initiatives that respond to cleansing and security needs. Public sector efforts will need to work with pre-existing practices, structures and funding models.
- There is growing pressure for MCP to be the vehicle through which City interacts with communities. This will need to be dealt with sensitively so as to manage community expectations and facilitate relationship building between the City and local communities.
- Funding of TIDs could happen through the City relinquishing income streams eg informal trade permit fees, a letting and sub-letting structure, or cross-subsidisation models.