CAPE TOWN – Creating more than 11 000 units for social, affordable housing – for students, and people earning between R2 500 and R25 000 a month – is a core feature of ongoing planning of the mammoth 120-hectare Two Rivers Urban Park (TRUP) project on the open land between Pinelands and Observatory.

The remaining half – just over 6 000 units – of the housing floor space in the scheme will be sold on the market. The remainder of the greater mixed-use project will be given over to commercial, retail, light industrial and public uses, incorporated within an extended park straddling the Liesbeeck and Black rivers. Buildings will likely range from two to seven storeys.

This long-term project – a collaboration between the city, and South African and Dutch urban planners – is regarded as a decisive opportunity to reverse apartheid spatial planning.

The leading partners in the collaboration, UCT’s African Centre for Cities and the Dutch International New Town Institute, provided an update on the visioning exercise yesterday. Building on the site is not likely soon, as it is anticipated that the planning process will be protracted.

The city said in a statement that the TRUP site “and its associated landholdings offer a unique development opportunity”.

“This centrally and strategically located site has many attributes and unique qualities that can help to heal the city and give hope to its residents. As a distinctive regeneration area, it affords the prospect of creating a precinct that is diverse and yet socially inclusive.

“It offers the possibility to provide an inspiring and welcoming space within the city for socially mixed, integrated and sustainable communities as much as for interested investors. With this envisaged development of the TRUP, the aim is to provide a dense, mixed-use, mixed tenure urban environment where people can safely live, work and play, and in particular to strive towards building a vibrant, safe, local resident community.”

Eric Frijters, founding partner of design practice, Fabrications, and a member of the Dutch team, said yesterday: “TRUP is a magnificent opportunity for the Western Cape province and City of Cape Town to

lead the way in guiding the Global South towards an urban future that is socially equal, ecologically sustainable and economically vital.”

Bonnie Horbach, Consul-General for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Cape Town, said: “The Netherlands aspires to be a reliable and solutions-driven partner. We believe that it is essential to first understand South Africa’s unique context before setting out to achieve real results in brownfield urban development.”

The development of the TRUP scheme comes as pressure mounts on city and provincial authorities to hasten projects that address the legacy of apartheid planning. Activists have focused attention on particular sites, including the Tafelberg property in Sea Point, which only this week the Western Cape provincial government decided to sell, rather than redevelop as affordable housing.

The province said it was pursuing other opportunities for affordable housing in Woodstock, Pinelands, and Belhar.


– Weekend Argus/Independent Online

PHOTO: This artist’s impression shows the scale and potential look of the development from Forest Drive.


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