CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS This report has contained a review of COF policies and activities implemented to date. As much of the work is still in an exploratory phase, it has proven difficult to make conclusive statements and recommendations. As such, some of what is presented is tentative and investigative. However there are a number of findings that might be of use to the City as it continues to implement the strategy. As with many other city governments, the CoJ has developed a number of strategies to attract property developers to the TOD initiative. These strategies include shaping, stimulating and regulating the market as well as building internal capacity for better and more fruitful interaction with the property sector. The success of these strategies is however tied in with factors beyond the control of City officials, such as the macro-economy. In order to better achieve the objectives of these strategies it is important that the City gathers a better understanding of the property market, developers and market sub-sectors. An important gap in the discussion on property developers is a detailed analysis of what motivates property investors to invest in particular localities and markets, and which developers would be most interested in investing in the Corridors. Understanding stakeholders and role-players greatly assists in targeting information in the right areas. This kind of investigation would require an area-based and sectoral analysis. As most developers and financiers operate beyond the realm of City policy, engaging more directly with these role-players could be of great value. The CoJ also needs to make a distinction between residential and commercial property developers. The investment motivation for development differs between property sectors. Thinking through the location-based incentives and their utility to commercial and residential developers and investors would assist in determining the viability of commercial uses in the Corridors and focus the points at which these can be optimised. There is also further research to be done in understanding the dynamics pertaining to location selection. As the overview of Orange Grove and the Milpark Precinct illustrates, there are different neighbourhoods in the Corridors and local area studies and incentives
Transit corridors & the private sector
that speak to different property developers and property sectors are necessary and important. The development incentives offered by the City correlate well with concerns expressed by developers.They address issues around development rights, the development application process and bulk infrastructure to support densities. One of the City’s key incentives is speeding up development applications. Getting these basics right is an important part of building trust between developers, City officials and broader communities. While the City is stimulating market interest through costcutting approaches, it will be important to calculate the cost of these development incentives to the CoJ, and to determine if the cost is viable or whether the money could be better utilised elsewhere to the benefit of poor city residents. The regulatory framework could be strengthened both in terms of its ability to halt unwanted developments, but also in terms of clarifying in more detail obligations for developers benefiting from permissive development rights and incentives. There needs to be further thinking around property developer responsibilities, and what role developers have in ensuring a just and equitable Johannesburg. Creating a clear framework for social infrastructure is also necessary, as it speaks not only to the construction or improvement of city assets, but is inclusive of socio-economic programmes to support the infrastructure. Building infrastructure cannot be seen to be the City’s only contribution to the Corridors but rather part of a broader strategy, which acknowledges residents who live and work in the Corridors. Social exclusion is often ignored in policy frameworks. Creating an inclusive city is the primary motivation for the COF and it is therefore imperative that direct action be taken to guarantee
the provision of affordable and emergency housing, and to ensure that exclusion is not an unintended consequence of the strategy. Developers are looking for affordable housing opportunities in the Corridors and this interest should be optimised and harnessed. The City should use this as an opportunity to support affordable housing and to ascertain its role in housing provision in the Corridors. Finally, capacity building and supporting an effective team to drive development in the Corridors would add impetus to the project, as would create a ‘one-stop shop’ for communities and developers to access all information pertaining to the Corridors. The importance of urban management for the success of the TOD vision cannot be over-emphasised. With the focus of COF falling to public transport and improved public infrastructure, it is vital that the City get urban management right. Urban management is crucial for developers, investors and communities themselves. Shifting the emphasis from a purely capital budget to operational support could have an enormous impact in this regard.
Transit corridors & the private sector
Published on Aug 2, 2017
Part of the Spatial Transformation through Transit-Oriented Development in Johannesburg research series. Published by the South African Rese...