The City of Cape Town’s Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) received the International Public Transport Strategy Award at the UITP World Summit in Montreal, Canada.

UITP is the international organisation for public transport authorities and operators and its summit draws mobility professionals from all over the world. The UITP awards recognise successful projects that are implemented around the world which place public transport at the heart of the urban and local mobility system.

The winning projects must be ambitious, innovative and implementable in other cities and regions. The strategies should integrate land use and transport planning, be sustainable, and encourage more residents to shift to public transport.

Last night Melissa Whitehead, Commissioner of the TDA, was presented with the international award for the City of Cape Town’s Transit-Oriented Development Strategic Framework. The TDA was shortlisted in the category ‘Public Transport Strategy’, together with the transport authorities of Chennai, Moscow and Muncher.

‘I am elated that we came out tops on the world stage where we competed against the best transport authorities across the globe. This award is confirmation of the City’s innovation and forward thinking in eradicating the legacy of apartheid spatial planning by placing public transport at the centre of all new public investments and developments across Cape Town,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron.

The Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Strategic Framework was adopted by Council in March 2016. The strategy signifies a radical shift in the City’s financing and planning strategies and delivery methods.

It prescribes how new developments across Cape Town should happen and how existing public infrastructure should be transformed to address the legacy of apartheid spatial planning, the high cost of public transport, and urbanisation, while also stimulating economic growth.

The strategic framework seeks to optimise the location of future residential areas for all income groups in relation to economic and work opportunities. This will hold substantial benefits for lower-income households who currently spend up to 45% of their monthly household income on transport and have to travel between 45 km and 70 km to get to work.

The TOD Strategic Framework is a bold commitment to transforming our spatial reality over the next few decades. It prioritises more efficient land use, with increased densities and mixed uses and the right development in the right locations with public transport and access as the determining factors.

‘We are extremely proud of this achievement. The award serves as a motivation to work even harder to improve our residents’ lives through affordable, safe and decent public transport. This ties in with the City’s new Organisational Development and Transformation Plan which aims to accelerate our efforts to create a more equal society based on integrated communities, economic inclusion, and access to opportunities,’ said Councillor Herron.