objectives of the SDF, they have been given significant political support and an accompanying budget. Ahmad and Pienaar (2014: 115) argue that: The ability of the city to create the infrastructure for the development of high priority areas along the public transport corridors, economic nodes and marginalised areas remains key. To achieve this requires a capital investment approach that supports development objectives and prioritises projects that demonstrate delivery on growth targets and transformation. The three SAFS developed by the City to direct the COF are detailed, location-specific plans that will guide City interventions. They have been developed within the framework of existing City plans, including the GMS and SDF.3 The City, understanding its role and influence, has assembled a set of instruments within its control to guide the development process in the Corridors. The instruments take four generic forms (based on Adams et al 2012: 2588): tools to shape market forces; mechanisms to encourage market support; instruments to prevent undesirable developments; and efforts to build relationships. These instruments are being used to support the broader spatial objectives of building an efficient public transport system, the provision of bulk infrastructure, social infrastructure and potentially low-cost housing provision. Discussions with City officials established that at the core of the CoJ’s TOD initiative is the pursuit of greater densities in order to realise a more compact Johannesburg. Compact cities are viewed globally as an effective approach to reducing urban sprawl and ensuring greater efficiencies in the use of land and infrastructure (Davison and Legacy 2014: 156). The City understands its current urban form as limited in diversity with inefficient land patterns. Ongoing spatial inequality and distortions have resulted in a lot of peripheral development in Johannesburg. It is largely residential on the one hand (a response to massive housing backlogs), while on the other, breaks up Johannesburg into decentralised nodes (Todes 2012: 159; Weakley 2016). Todes notes that the bulk of housing for the urban poor has been built on the periphery of the city far from economic opportunities (2012: 159). The city is also low density with an over-reliance on private transportation, and the overall planning
Transit corridors & the private sector
response is therefore to encourage residential densification around existing cores. Indeed, the use of cheap and efficient public transport is a major initiative in the CoJ’s strategic planning. The role of the private sector in all these planning initiatives is important, as the City acknowledges it cannot deliver a compact city on its own. Given its overall objectives, the City has made important strides in isolating the most effective areas of regulatory and policy intervention for the COF. These inform infrastructure investment, strategic planning and research. In these spaces there is an interplay of instruments to encourage market support, optimise public sector interventions and to realise the purpose of TOD. Each of the SAFs have a set of goals which highlight the priorities of the COF. These priorities have been directed into action plans to deliver the vision. Although the SAFs differ per Corridor, it is possible to select a number of overlapping priorities. The Louis Botha SAF outlines key deliverables for realising the development vision of the COF: • Investing in bulk infrastructure to accommodate significant increases in development densities; • Releasing and developing municipal land to achieve the precinct development visions; • Expanding and improving public transit infrastructure and facilities; • Investing public funds in public environment upgrading and the provision of public amenities and community facilities to serve a significantly larger and denser population; • Fast-tracking development of privately owned properties to achieve higher densities, and more intensive mixed land uses; • Capturing the value generated through proximity to improved transit facilities by introducing relevant fiscal instruments, where appropriate; • Implementing place-making interventions to ensure that the precincts are activated; • Implementing economic strategies to support the growth of economic activities and create sustainable job opportunities (CoJ 2014a: 13).
3 It is important to emphasise that most of the programmes and policies reflected in the SAFs are still being refined, which makes it difficult to make generalisable statements. As such, many of the insights in this report are tentative and exploratory, with the analysis based on a review of strategic documents and detailed interviews with City officials.
The types of interventions mentioned above are fairly commonly utilised techniques by city governments to transform neighbourhoods. For the purposes of this report, it is important to review what role each of these interventions will play in ensuring the property sector performs an active role in the development process. A useful framework
Type of interaction Modes of operation
for review and analysis, developed by Adams et al (2012: 2588) on the basis of their research into the Scottish government, illustrates the points at which policymakers and property developers interact and simplifies the categorisation of the intervention strategies (see Table 1).
Main themes and relevance to TOD in Johannesburg
Influencing developer decision-making
This refers to the capacity of the planning system to influence developer outlook. In the COF this would pertain to instruments developed to encourage developers to invest in the Corridors rather than other areas.
Impacting the financial considerations of developers
Subsidies are believed to be able to change developer behaviour by highlighting the opportunities for developers in the Corridors. The City is supporting investment in these strategic areas through, for example, providing a rates rebate and allowing less restrictive development rights.
Restricting developers’ freedom of choice
This refers to the controls or conditions placed on developers wishing to develop in specific locations. Such restrictions could include urban design requirements and inclusionary housing. In the SDF, inclusionary housing requirements are in place for developers.
Supporting greater engagement of developers in the policy process through capacity-building.
Better communication between developers and planners will strengthen the public sector’s ability to engage with developers. The CoJ has begun to recognise the importance of development facilitation in the development process. Through this approach it is building its own capacity to engage with all stakeholders.
Table 1. Types of interactions between policymakers and property developers (adapted from Adams et al 2012)
Table 1 summarises the principal regulatory and policy initiatives available to the CoJ, categorised as: • Attempts to shape the market • Actively influencing market stimulus • Preparations to regulate the market as far as possible • Prioritising capacity building processes In order to understand in greater detail the points of intersection, the above framework will be referred to throughout this report. This analysis will be done by focusing on COF plans and programmes in the
4 The City’s Development Planning Department is the custodian of the TOD programme and the regulatory approach is largely spatial. The economic study to support the COF has not as yet been completed, which is a significant missing piece of the strategy and hence cannot be reviewed (CoJ 2014: 21).
planning and implementation phase, with each of the instruments analysed separately.4 The following section argues that there are a multitude of factors that will determine how successful the City’s attempts to leverage private sector investment will be. Some of these factors are within the control of the City, while others are not. The City has a number of strengths but also potential weaknesses in its approach to pursuing private sector and community investment in the Corridors. These will be discussed further in the report in relation to the interventions currently being pursued by the City.
Transit corridors & the private sector
Published on Aug 2, 2017
Published on Aug 2, 2017
Part of the Spatial Transformation through Transit-Oriented Development in Johannesburg research series. Published by the South African Rese...