Two Rivers Urban Park a major step towards an 'inclusive city'

The City of Cape Town and Western Cape Government’s vision for the Two Rivers Urban Park (TRUP) Project is primarily aimed at overcoming the legacy of apartheid spatial planning. Located at the convergence of the Black and Liesbeek Rivers, TRUP is envisaged as a mixed-use, transit-oriented development (a mix of residential and commercial opportunities within a connected landscape) for sustainable living.

The City’s Mayoral Committee today, 19 January 2016, recommended that Council support the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) relating to the TRUP Project, between the City, the Western Cape Government (WCG), and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This development will function as a gateway to the city, thanks to its central location.

The TRUP Project aims to release 120 ha of land within the area for the creation of a mixed-use, fully inclusive development. This iconic project offers the Western Cape an opportunity to create an integrated response to the need for green developments that promote a ‘live, work, play’ community. It will be a significant step towards transforming the area into an innovative, sustainable neighbourhood that will be characterised by a high-density, mixed-use development.

“I must mention that at this stage, this is only the vision for the TRUP development. There is still much work to be done in terms of feasibility studies before any plan can be cast in stone. The MOC with the Dutch Government is for us to capitalise on their technical expertise. They have introduced us to cross-sector design thinking through study tours and workshops, with a key focus on catchment management, advanced water technology solutions, and flood mitigation,” said the City’ Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Special Projects, Alderman Belinda Walker.

The envisioned development will be located around a central park with the two rivers. The vision is to provide sustainability, conservation, recreation, employment, production and connected neighbourhoods. Infrastructural constraints here will certainly demand innovative solutions.

“In addition to the extensive feasibility studies, a lot of planning needs to be done before a concept design can be developed. Importantly, any processes going forward will entail the required forms of public participation and engagement. A heritage specialist has also been brought on board to consult on the TRUP Project as cultural and heritage aspects do form an integral part of the vision for this development. Where possible, we will seek to not only preserve those aspects of heritage, but retain and enhance the heritage components of the site. Options for memorization, given the strong level of history associated with the site, will also be considered as there are rich legacies to commemorate here,” added Alderman Walker.

The vision for this development is shared by the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government. As such, all planning and implementation phases will be undertaken collaboratively, together with technical support from leading experts hailing from the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

“The signing of the MOC is a significant development as the collaboration in developing water management strategies will benefit not only the TRUP development, but other developments like it in future. We look forward to a fruitful partnership with the Kingdom of the Netherlands during the second phase of this exciting urban regeneration venture, and to the further roll-out of the TRUP development in the final implementation phase of the project”.

“The TRUP Project forms part of the Western Cape Government’s Provincial Strategic Goal 1 (PSG 1) – the creation of opportunities for growth and jobs, and PSG 4, which aims to enable a resilient, sustainable, quality and inclusive living environment,” said the Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant.

As part of the MOC, various areas of cooperation were identified and they include the following:

· Water safety, flood protection and integrated water resources management

· Water for food and eco-systems

· Water supply and sanitation

· Water and climate

· Efficient and fair trans-boundary water management

· Water governance

· Capacity-building, organisation and institutional development

· Other areas within this context jointly consented upon by the parties

“The Kingdom of the Netherlands is increasingly interested in Cape Town’s approach to climate, water management and flood mitigation. We welcome their offer to provide professional assistance and we look forward to working with them on the exciting TRUP Project,” added Alderman Walker.