Identifying the Opportunities and Challenges that Exist for Cape Town's Smart City Development



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Urban Real Estate Research Unit


URERU Smart City Series;Part 3

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 first report provides an overview of the City of Cape Town's strategy along with some critical reflections on their guiding framework, The Digital City Strategy. The third report, using interviews with stakeholders in different government, civic and corporate spheres, serves as a reflection to unpack some of the key opportunities and challenges that Cape Town faces in terms of unlocking the potential of a smarter, more sustainable urban future. Following that, the report provides some insight to what it means on a broader level for smart city development in Cape Town.