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Call on residents to participate in crafting of spatial vision for Cape Town CBD

by City of Cape Town 1 Sep 2023
City of Cape Town

The City of Cape Town is embarking on a process to develop a local spatial development framework (LSDF) for the Cape Town Central Business District (CBD).

The intention of the LSDF is to facilitate transition planning that will ensure the CBD’s economic prosperity, and protect and maintain existing investments, while creating new opportunities to transform the area into a more liveable, inclusive and resilient space. The City’s Urban Planning and Design Department has prepared a draft contextual analysis document that will form the basis for the proposed LSDF to be prepared in coming months. Residents and interested and affected parties now have the opportunity to comment on this draft document that will help shape the future spatial planning and development of Cape Town’s economic heartland. 

A high resolution map of the study area is available here: 

‘The core area of the Cape Town CBD covers approximately 384 hectares, it borders the harbour and convention district, the historic Bo-Kaap and District Six, and includes distinct areas each with its own unique heritage such as De Waterkant and the Parliamentary Precinct. Many will agree that the CBD sets the trend for greater Cape Town in terms of creativity, business activity, and growth potential; it is at the heart of our city’s economy, our primary metropolitan node; and in terms of location, one of the most sought after areas to live and work.

‘As we are gearing for the future post-Covid-19, the City has identified the need for a plan that will turn the CBD into a more liveable, resilient, attractive, and inclusive district. We need this plan to support and enable economic recovery, to re-imagine the role and function of the CBD, to propose how it can become more accessible in terms of affordability and provide a programme of actions to address current and future challenges to ensure its long-term prosperity,’ said the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews.

The City’s Integrated Development Plan, and CBD recovery and transition project focuses on quality precinct management, the boosting of mixed-use development and providing residential opportunities, including affordable accommodation to make the CBD more inclusive, over time.

‘This means we have to redevelop and convert office space into residential housing opportunities and mixed uses, as well as improve public spaces, streets and community facilities. Similarly, these efforts must be supported by investment in bulk infrastructure for the provision of basic services such as water, sanitation, mobility, and so forth. 

‘To achieve these outcomes, the City is now embarking on the drafting of an LSDF to guide spatial planning and land use in the CBD. This policy document will take into account social, economic and environmental factors, and guide decisions on future public and private development applications. In the end, the intention is to pursue a spatial form fit for purpose in terms of density and land use, among others, and an urban character that will build on our resilience in times of uncertainty and constant change. However, all of this must be balanced against the need to protect the CBD’s townscape and heritage, and the area’s unique location with Table Mountain as its backdrop and Table Bay on the other end,’ said Alderman Andrews.

The LSDF will be based on the draft contextual analysis document that is now available for public comment until 30 September 2023. This is the first step in preparing the LSDF. 

For more information, and how to register to be part of the process:
•    Go online to access the relevant documents:
•    Email: 

‘I encourage residents, businesses, community organisations, and stakeholders to please go online and read the draft contextual analysis document. Please register and become part of this exciting process. We need your input and contributions, given that this document will form the foundation of the LSDF we will draft in coming months. Once finalised, and approved by Council, the LSDF will have a profound impact on what the CBD will look and feel like in future, and guide the City’s planning decisions and investment in projects to realise the spatial vision as set out by the LSDF,’ said Alderman Andrews.

The City will be hosting the public engagements where we will present the draft contextual analysis document, and provide an opportunity for residents to ask questions, and get more information about the process: 
•    Public open day: Saturday, 9 September 2023, from 09:00 to 12:00, at the Cape Town Central Library
•    Design charrette: Wednesday, 20 September 2023, from 18:00 to 20:00 at the Subcouncil 16 Chambers, 44 Wale Street, Cape Town
•    Virtual engagement meeting: Wednesday, 27 September 2023, from 18:00 to 20:00. RSVP via email to register and request a Skype link: 

The draft contextual analysis document elaborates on the following:
•    Existing land use guidelines such as the Table Bay District Spatial Development Framework of 2023 and Tall Buildings Policy of 2013
•    Draft land use policies such as the Foreshore Gateway Precinct plan of 2021 and CBD Urban Design Concept and Guidelines of 2022 
•    Emerging guidelines, such as the one on inclusionary housing
•    A socio-economic overview of the CBD, its demographics, transport infrastructure, public realm, economy, property market, heritage, current land use and development traits, urban conditions, and services infrastructure
•    An analysis of the CBD precincts of De Waterkant, Convention District, Mid-City, Company Gardens/Government Precinct, East Foreshore, East City, and Lower Gardens
•    Constraints and possibilities
•    A consolidated draft action list and conclusion

Once approved, the LSDF for the Cape Town CBD will elaborate on and support the spatial development guidelines as set out in the Table Bay District Spatial Development Framework, which is a higher order spatial plan for the City Bowl and surrounds. 

Caption: The City is embarking on the process to draft a local spatial development framework for the core area of the Cape Town CBD as indicated in the map. The first step in this process is the finalisation of the draft contextual analysis document that is available for public comment until 30 September 2023. Residents are invited to participate in this process, and to attend the upcoming public engagements.  


Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town
Media enquiries: Letitia Mathieson, Executive Support Officer to the Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Tel: 021 400 4836 or Cell: 084 4377 249, Email: (Please always copy