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The City of Cape Town recently endorsed employees from the Spatial Planning and Urban Development departments to complete a course in property development and investment at the University of Cape Town. The candidates selected for this training are urban planners and project managers who work within the spatial planning and urban catalytic investment teams at the City. Read more below:

In an effort to orient its urban development programmes and projects towards an investment-led focus, the City has recently invested in the training of some professionals within its spatial planning and urban development teams. One of the aims is to promote the understanding within these teams of how the public sector plays a role in creating an enabling environment which promotes economic growth and sustainability.

‘The aim with this specific course was to equip these employees with an understanding of the investment cycles; current market trends and property disciplines. By investing in courses of this nature, the City aims to boost the knowledge and understanding among our urban planners on how land markets function and what aspects developers and investors consider before proceeding with a project. This will help with creating an enabling environment in the targeted precincts where the City wishes to see Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) take place in future,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt.

One of the urban planners who completed the course is Gideon Brand, a City of Cape Town urban planner who currently manages the co-ordination of programmes and partnerships within the City’s Urban Catalytic Investment department, a new department which was formed to drive the City’s transit-orientated and spatial transformation agenda. Brand’s team plays a key role in implementing the City’s TOD Strategic framework through a programme of catalytic land development which aims to create new, vibrant and high density mixed-use precincts in targeted locations that are well connected to opportunities in the rest of the city. Brand says his team will benefit from the clarity and understanding gained through this course by knowing which areas to prioritise in order to create the most enabling circumstances for investment and economic growth within the City.

The City wishes to encourage development for the benefit of its communities, and at the same time transform the spatial structure of the urban areas to facilitate more opportunity. It can do this through various levers at its disposal, from releasing land for development, adopting appropriate policies and regulatory frameworks to providing incentives for investment.

‘We recognise that a stable and prosperous city will only be achieved if we can stimulate and accelerate economic growth to create the kind of opportunities our growing population needs. This will require sustained partnerships, both with other public entities and State Owned Enterprises and the private sector. It is therefore important for us to understand how markets function and what it takes for them to operate effectively in order to realise these desirable partnerships,’ said Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt.

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