The Current State and Characteristics of Cape Town's Smart City Development



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Urban Real Estate Research Unit


URERU Smart City Series;Part 2

In today’s urban environment, local governments have to deal with increasingly complex mandates, social inequalities and economic growth in a context of increasing environmental and economic uncertainty (Baud et al., 2014). In Africa, these complexities are exacerbated by rapid urbanisation and the subsequent proliferation of urban poverty. This necessitates more efficient and effective management and governance of urban systems (Slavova & Okwechime, 2016; Meijer & Thaens, 2018). Given the increased role of ICT and its potential to advance the management and coordination of cities, contribute to their economic success, and improve the quality of life of its residents (Backhouse, 2015), many African cities are beginning to explore smart city interventions as a means of overcoming the rising challenges of urban development and sustainability. This report series seeks to explore the grounding of smart city concepts within an African context through an exploration of the City of Cape Town's smart city initiatives. The second report uses the analysis of the Digital City Strategy to develop an understanding of where the City of Cape Town currently is in terms of its smart city development, and the characteristics that have defined the advancement of the City’s smart city ambitions to date. Following that, the report discusses how the current state and characteristics relate to the Digital City Strategy outlined in the first report before providing some insight into what this reveals about the City’s approach to smart city development.