Strategic Development Planning

Modern-Day Strategic Development Planning Challenges in South Africa More than 3,3 billion people live in towns and cities around the world and it is expected that more than 5 billion citizens will live in urban areas a decade from now. Therefore, in future, most structural growth will take place around cities. You just have to look at the challenges that South African cities face to understand the importance of strategic development planning for sustainable urban areas of the future. A trend that has become rather noticeable over the past few years and that is a pressing concern for professionals involved in strategic development planning is the growth of megacities. What do we mean? Think Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Midrand, and you will have an idea of how cities grow into each other, thus creating megacities. The same is true when thinking of the Western Cape. Not too many years ago, there were fewer than 12 such megacities worldwide. Such cities had populations of more than a million each. However, it is estimated by the United Nations that by the year 2030, there will be more than 490 such cities with populations of one million or more each. One of the strategic development planning challenges of today is to minimise the environmental footprint of such large cities. In addition, the large-scale poverty often experienced in such cities because of high unemployment rates, as experienced in South Africa, leads to various social, economic, and political conflict situations. More and more poor people find their way to cities in South Africa. These people mainly come from rural areas. With limited infrastructure and environmental...

Urban Development

Smart Cities Are the Future of Urban Planning and Development Urban development entails all the elements of design that lead to the creation of the city’s environment and structure. As such, urban development design affects the following: • Buildings • Streets • Landscape • Transport • Public spaces In the simplest form, urban design coordinates and combines the above and other elements into a coherent development, which can be called a city or town. It is what civilizations have done from the earliest of times. When it comes to smart city or smart urban development, innovative approaches are followed to bring the elements together. Smart urban development is not only focused on design to reduce traffic congestion. Instead, it is an approach to urban development to ensure the sustainability of all structures, resource usage, and healthy living and interaction with the surrounding environment. The essential components of smart urban design and development are briefly discussed below, giving you a glimpse into the future urban environments of the world. Research & Analytics Without all the relevant data, the smart city is simply not possible. The smart urban environment collects data with the use of technology. The problem is how to use the data to improve the urban environment. You need to identify problems such as too many cyclist injuries or too slow reaction times of emergency response teams. Now that you know which problems to solve, the next challenge is to make sense of the data collected. This is the analysis phase. The smart city development concept also entails the collection of data about everything that forms part of city...

Due Diligence Property Development

Why Perform Due Diligence Before You Commence with Property Development? With any property development, the purchase of land with the intention of developing it or for improvement on a development property, you need to perform due diligence checks. This is important before you buy, propose, or start with property development. The Purpose of the Checks The due diligence helps you to plan costs, assess the viability of the particular piece of land for the purpose you intend to use it for, and prevent the discovery of unforeseen hazards or limitations later on in the development process. For instance, have you looked at what the land was used for in the past? If not, you may end up building a residential estate on an old graveyard. It may not seem like a problem, but if that graveyard belongs to a community who intends to initiate a land claim on the property because of the graves of their ancestors, you may end up losing the property after all the development costs have already been paid. What Can You Discover? Think of issues such as underground utilities that can hinder your ability to erect buildings on the property. What if the site is polluted with a chemical that can cause health problems for occupants of the particular development? Have you considered the potential flood risk or the possibility of a landslide? What if you want to develop a new fuel station on the land, but later find out that the property you bought cannot be used because of protected species that live on or near the property? Why You Need Professional Assistance...

Integrated Development Planning

Integrated Development Planning What is Integrated Development Planning? Integrated development planning is a participatory approach used by planners to integrate various strategies including sector, spatial, fiscal, institutional, social, economic and environmental in support of the best allocation of resources in development planning. The purpose is to attain sustainable growth, equity, and empowerment of marginalised and poor communities. Integrated development planning (IDP) is therefore an important tool for sustainable development and forms the basis of modern municipal management as part of the system for planning and delivery. It provides direction for decisions and activities of municipalities according to the terms of the Local Government:  Municipal Structures Act of 2000. IDP allows for the identification of the most important development prospects and the formulation of clear vision, mission, goals and values, as well as strategies. IDP includes an analysis that forms a key component in the process to assist municipalities understand their internal structure and operations, which gives them a solid basis from where they can manage change to attain the vision of the future development. The analysis thus includes an assessment of the staff make-up, deployment, structures, and the financial status, as well as culture, in addition to analysis of other factors. Through the IDP approach, resources and needs are matched and communities are involved in the identification of priorities to ensure optimal matching of the said resources and needs. This makes provision for the development of alternative service delivery vehicles, which can include partnerships between private and public entities. The IDP follows a holistic approach and all projects, forming part of the plan, are designed specifically to address the...

Township establishment & Development Overview

Township establishment & Development Overview Township establishment is a complex process of converting land into residential, commercial or industrial properties. Various specialists and professionals work together and provide their input including for instance, the likes of township and urban development planners, environmental consultants, engineers, surveyors, lawyers, property specialists and financial advisors. The professionals each bring their expertise to the table to ensure that safety, sustainability, socio-economic and environmental aspects are taken into account and development is done in compliance with the relevant regulations. It is a time consuming process and careful planning is required to minimise delays, which could lead to higher development costs. At the same time, the entire process must be thorough and must take various effects into consideration. With such in mind, intensive research and investigation must be carried out prior to the lodging of the application for township establishment. The feasibility of the project must be investigated with consideration of all the factors and consequences of the project. It is essential for the developer to work with a professional team of township planners and environmental consultants, such as The Practice Group, in the identification and management of factors that will influence the project. This will help the developer to focus on the important resources to reduce the risk of under budgeting or overrunning the planned budget because of delays that will lead to financial losses and the risk of complete project failure. Township establishment and development entail several phases, which can roughly be divided into: Idea or concept –where the developer identifies land suitable for the type of development in mind or investigates possible development...