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Samstag, 22.06.2024
eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001

As the CEO of Blok, a leading player in Cape Town’s urban property development landscape, Jacques van Embden has witnessed first-hand the transformative power of technology in shaping the city’s future. Jacques explores this trend and how, in recent years, Cape Town has been at the forefront of the smart city revolution, leveraging data and innovation to enhance the lives of its citizens while promoting sustainable urban development and environmental conservation.

At the heart of the smart city concept lies the notion of accessibility to information. Historically, understanding how citizens interact with their city was based largely on assumptions and intuition, given the sheer complexity that comes with trying to track the movements of millions of residents. But that’s starting to change thanks to the concept of the Smart City.

By harnessing data analytics, we can gain valuable insights into various aspects of urban life, from optimising commuting patterns to improving energy efficiency. Through sensors and interconnected devices, we can now delve into the intricacies of city life like never before, allowing us to make informed decisions that benefit both residents and the environment. Turning this sort of data into action, quite literally, is what underpins the notion of a city being ‘smart’.

One of the key pillars of Cape Town’s smart city vision is its commitment to sustainable urban development. Recognising that density is a city environment’s friend, Cape Town has embraced a vertical approach to growth, maximising space and promoting efficient land use by encouraging more apartment-based living. This approach also helps the city in its transit-oriented corridor development, with its expansion of the MyCiti bus and train routes, which further encourage density and accessibility, enabling residents to enjoy a higher quality of life within a 15-minute radius of their homes.

On that note, the idea of the ‘15-minute city’ is critical to the development of smart cities. As the name suggests, this is a form of urban development where your entire life can be lived within 15-minutes of everything you need, meaning never having to travel more than roughly 2km for work, life, and play. This encourages a pedestrian-oriented lifestyle, which contributes to a more sustainable urban culture.

Another critical way Cape Town is promoting itself as a Smart City built on sustainable development is through stringent building codes. From energy-efficient designs, such as use of passive heating and cooling, to water-saving technologies, new developments in the city are required to adhere to strict environmental standards, ensuring that Cape Town remains a leader in green building practices. In addition, it’s been codified that a building’s energy efficiency must be ‘through the line’ — from its lifts to its light bulbs. These strict regulations, while costly to implement, mean Cape Town is helping set the global standard for sustainable architecture.

Innovative architectural and design features further contribute to Cape Town’s Smart City ethos. Pedestrian thoroughfares, co-working spaces and bicycle racks in our buildings promote live-work-play lifestyles, reducing commute times and fostering community interconnectedness. Meanwhile, advancements in smart infrastructure, such as digital check-in systems and facial recognition technology, enhance security and streamline building management processes. In the last few years we’ve witnessed this shift first-hand in Cape Town’s city centre, as previously commercial buildings have become residential. I believe we’ll continue to see this take place, as people seek out the ‘15-minute city’ lifestyle.

As we look to the future, Cape Town stands poised to continue its journey towards becoming a model Smart City, where innovation, sustainability, and quality of life converge. By harnessing the power of technology and embracing progressive urban planning principles, we can ensure that Cape Town remains a vibrant, resilient, and inclusive city – for generations to come.

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Quelle/Source: Cape Business News, 23.04.2024

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