Mohamed Shinaz

8 Sep 2014
Movement in Africa with Cape Town commiting to the Compact

We are very pleased to welcome Cape Town to the Global Compact.

Cape Town is the legislative capital of South Africa and the second most populous city in the country, following Johannesburg. It is the second city in Africa to commit to the Global Compact. Tschwane, as one of the original Innovating pilot cities, has a long standing participation in the Cities Programme.

Cape Town is one of the most popular destinations in the world. With its Mediterranean climate, extensive coastline, rugged mountain ranges, coastal plains, inland valleys and semi-desert fringes, it has been likened to southern California. Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town was originally developed by the Dutch East India Company as a supply station for Dutch ships sailing to East Africa, India, and the Far East. Cape Town quickly outgrew its original purpose as the first European outpost at the Castle of Good Hope, becoming an economic and cultural hub. This year the city will host the World Design Capital 2014 . Today Cape Town is known as one of the most multicultural cities in the world.

As so many cities today face, this rapid migratory and urban growth has presented Cape Town with significant challenges. These include pressure on housing, biodiversity, agriculture production, employment and urban sprawl.

City leaders in Cape Town are recognising that “sustainability is one of the foundation stones of development, requiring that every major long-term decision taken by a local government should consider the best interests of the City according to a balance of needs”.

Recognising Cape Town uniqueness, blessed with enviable natural resources and cultural vitality, one of the most sought-after destinations in the world for both vocation and lifestyle, they say the City must sustain its growth by “amalgamating the sanctuary of its natural asset base into daily existence”.

“Consideration and cooperation are considered crucial to this ideal. In order for this to be achieved, sustainability has to equate to progress. The City of Cape Town is committed to an identity of progress and opportunity. From the Mayors Portfolio, which holistically challenges citizens and government officials alike to replicate and improve upon best-practice approaches, to the corporate incentives to support the growth of the green-energy sector, to the biodiversity protection mechanisms, the City of Cape Town is investing in its future to sculpt a more sustainable, vibrant, and equitable tomorrow”.

We look forward to Cape Town’s participation in the Global Compact Cities Programme.

Note: the preceding excerpts were taken from the article on Cape Town which will feature in the new ‘Sustainable Cities’  publication scheduled for release in November 2014.

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