URERU Smart City Report Series 4
The Way Forward for the City of Cape Town and What it Means to be 'Smart' in Africa
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. As such, cities are now having to respond to the opportunities and challenges that arise on the back of an increasingly technological world, which requires a radically different view on how a city needs to operate to accommodate the engagement between technology, citizens, institutions and the built environment.
The Urban Real Estate Research Unit set out to explore what it means to be 'smart' in an African context.