The Way Forward for the City of Cape Town and what it means to be 'Smart' in Africa



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Urban Real Estate Research Unit


URERU Smart City Series;Part 4

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 fourth and final report attempts to put forward some recommendations intended to assist The City of Cape Town as they continue on their digital journey. These recommendations are based on what has emerged out of the previous three reports. The report also attempts to distil the findings of this research to provide some reflection on what they may mean for Africa more broadly. These are presented as important considerations that can be applied to the context of other African cities with smart city aspirations.