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SA’s first green development comes to Menlyn Maine precinct

Pretoria is rapidly attaining a new maturity as the decentralisation of the city centre accelerates and growth nodes such as Menlyn, which is increasingly being dubbed ‘Pretoria’s Sandton’, comes into its own.

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The ZAR10 billion Menlyn Maine precinct starts to come online with the launch of its Central Square in September 2016.

“The City of Tshwane has for long identified a need for additional, new growth and business centres that could provide relief for the overburdened infrastructure of the city centre, while broadening the development of the region,” says Retha Schutte, Pam Golding Properties Regional Executive for Pretoria.

“Now, with properly designed mixed-use mini-cities such as Menlyn Maine increasingly coming on stream, and the opening of the development’s impressive 60 000sqm Central Square scheduled for 21 September 2016, this imperative is finally being realised and in the process Pretoria is reaching an exciting new stage in its development cycle.”

“Menlyn Maine is an immense 315 000sqm purpose-designed green mini-city, which effectively combines office, commercial, residential and entertainment spaces. It is not only the largest project of its kind within the Tshwane municipal region but one of the most ambitious projects of its kind in Southern Africa. The developers of Menlyn Maine have partnered with the international Clinton Climate Initiative and the precinct is one of only 17 green cities that will be built in various countries and the only one in Africa.

“The precinct is already emerging as a prestigious new business centre and the address of choice in Pretoria. We truly believe that this development stands alone and that it is set to change how people throughout the region will work, live and play.”

Thys Greeff of Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings says that the soon-to-be-opened Central Square will be the focal point of the Menlyn Maine precinct. It will include a Virgin Classic Club, a 240-room 4-Star hotel by The Capital Group and 14 835sqm of office space, which will be integrated with the new 30 000sqm the specialty tenanted, boutique retail mall and the Central Square Piazza.

“The city centre will be a meeting place with coffee shops and restaurants offering a handpicked range of alternatives, from early breakfast, to all-day dining and more formal dining, all located within an exciting, accessible and safe urban green space. It will also contain an office tower.”

According to Schutte, Pam Golding Properties partnered with Menlyn Maine to assist with the purchase and assembly of 108 stands in Waterkloof Glen Ext 2 between 2006 and 2007, after which construction could commence.

“Since then, the development of Menlyn Maine has been most impressive. In addition to the launch of Central Square, we are also seeing an increasing number of leading corporates, financial institutions, law firms and a range of other professional service providers, as well as retailers and hoteliers moving into the precinct.”

According to Greeff, South Africa’s first green mini-city has been designed with the greatest attention being paid to appropriate urban planning and green design. One result of this is that the precinct will use much less energy and less water than a comparable development of this size.

“We were effectively able to develop this mixed-use city from the ground up into what we believe is an ideal urban environment. The idea behind Menlyn Maine is to create an easily accessible, exclusive and self-contained urban centre where corporate staff members and residents can work and live within a healthy, attractive and highly productive environment where everything is close to hand and within easy walking distance. Residents and visitors will also have access to a range of highly select retailers and entertainment facilities,” adds Greeff.

“The precinct is designed according to the standards set down in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighbourhood Development rating system. The streets, residential developments, office buildings, retail outlets, dining establishments, commercial facilities as well as all other public spaces are being designed to promote responsible, healthy lifestyles in a sustainable city precinct. This is establishing Menlyn Maine as an address of choice for living, working, shopping and entertainment,” observes Schutte.

On completion, the development will offer prospective tenants a variety of facilities with a total lettable area of approximately 315 000sqm. An exclusive residential component will be added as part of the second phase. All of the buildings in the precinct are required to achieve a minimum of a Four-Star Green Star rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).

Sun International’s application to move their gaming licence from Morula Sun to Menlyn Maine was approved at the end of 2014.

The development of the Time Square Urban Entertainment Complex has already commenced and will include a 5-star hotel, 8 000 seat entertainment arena, a 10 000msqm casino and conference facilities.

The first building to be completed in Menlyn Maine was the regional head office for Nedbank. This is a 16 500sqm building with a 5-Star rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa. Subsequent buildings that have been constructed including the new corporate head-office for Sage VIP as well as the headquarters for Regus. The development of a 4 200sqm building, with the BMW SAP Competence Hub as primary tenant, was completed in November 2015.

“Menlyn Maine is uniquely situated to take advantage of the continued development of Tshwane and is likely to assist in energising the entire eastern region. From a residential property perspective, we believe it will spur growth within the residential property market and will serve as magnet within this eastern region of Pretoria where residential property prices continue to hold their own.”

“As South Africa’s capital, Pretoria has for long needed additional business and development centres that are viable and sustainable. Menlyn Maine goes a long way to meeting these requirements and it is heartening to see this novel mixed-use precinct finally come to fruition,” concludes Schutte.
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Gauteng to create new economic corridors

The Gauteng government has announced interventions to change the space and structure of the province’s economy to help address unemployment, poverty and inequality. Speaking during the State of the Province Address on Monday, Premier David Makhura said these interventions were spatial reconfiguration; township economy revitalisation; and investment in infrastructure that the provincial government would undertake in partnership with municipalities and the private sector. Gauteng City Region’s space and economy would be configured into five development corridors that would have distinct industries and different comparative advantages, Makhura said.These are:

  • Central Development Corridor, which will anchored around the City of Johannesburg as the hub of finance, services, ICT and pharmaceutical industries;
  • Eastern Development Corridor, which will be anchored around the economy of the Ekurhuleni Metro as the hub of manufacturing, logistics and transport industries;
  • Northern Development Corridor, which will anchored around Tshwane as South Africa’s administrative capital city and the hub of the automotive sector, research, development, innovation and the knowledge-based economy;
  • Western Corridor, which encompasses the economy of the West Rand district and the creation of new industries, new economic nodes and new cities; and
  • Southern Corridor, which encompasses the economy of the Sedibeng district and the creation of new industries, new economic nodes and new cities.

Makhura said the provincial government would “mobilise” more than R10-billion in public and private investments in the regeneration of the Joburg CBD as the seat of the provincial government.The Premier said Gauteng would work with national government and the City of Joburg to ensure that the Central Corridor became the home of the proposed Brics regional development bank.A plan to revitalise the townships of Kliptown and Alexandra was also under discussion with government and the City as “the two townships are in a terrible and sorry state of disrepair”, Makhura said.

Transformation

Makhura also announced that 140 000 housing units would be built in the next five years in the area to help change human settlement patterns.Together with the private sector and the City of Johannesburg, there were plans to transform the spatial landscape of the Central Corridor, which include:

  • Masingita City, an integrated commercial and industrial hub, is a R3- billion private investment that is expected to create 15 500 jobs during its construction, which will begin in March.
  • Rietfontein. With an investment of R20-billion, this will be a complete mixed-use node with more than 8 000 proposed residential units, including commercial property, distribution and warehousing, retail and education facilities.
  • Waterfall City, the largest city to be built in post-apartheid South Africa. The estimated investment during construction is R71-billion, with an estimated 100 000 jobs to be created by the project.
  • The Modderfontein development will inject R84-billion into the economy of the Gauteng City Region and is expected to create 150 000 jobs over the next 20 years.

Aerotropolis

Turning to the Eastern Development Corridor, Makhura said 29 industrial initiatives under the banner of the Aerotropolis would be undertaken to revitalise manufacturing, aviation, transport and logistics industries linked to OR Tambo International Airport.”This will dramatically transform the current industrial structure of the economy of Ekurhuleni,” Makhura told the legislature.Other projects in the corridor will be the Tambo Springs Inland Port Development, with an estimated R7.5-billion investment over five years.The first phase of the Bus Rapid Transit System in Ekurhuleni would be operational by March next year, Makhura said, and more than 100 000 housing units would be built in the area over the next five years.

SA’s biggest convention centre

Makhura said Gauteng would be working with Tshwane to develop the West Capital development project in the Northern Corridor. This will include a student village, sport incubatory centre, retail and commercial components, inner city housing and health facilities.The African Gateway in the heart of Centurion would be a partnership with the private sector and will comprise South Africa’s largest convention centre, an hotel, residential, commercial and additional office space.

Tshwane

The City of Tshwane would be investing R525-million to establish a business process outsourcing park in Hammanskraal, Makhura said. “The park will offer on-site training, technical support and incubators for SMMEs. The project is expected to create more than 1 000 jobs during construction and more than 1 000 indirect jobs.”Working with the private sector, Tshwane would also continue to rolling out free wi-fi within the City. To date, R150-million had already been invested in this initiative.Makhura said more than 160 000 houses would be built in the area.Green economyThe economy of the Western Corridor would focus on green and blue economy initiatives, tourism, agro-processing and logistics, said Makhura.”Lanseria Airport and Maropeng World Heritage Site will be the main anchors of the new city and new economy of the West Rand,” he said.The corridor would be positioned as a hub of agriculture and agroprocessing, and a public-private partnership would see the development of aquaculture projects, such as the prawn farming facility, the premier said.He said more than 160 000 houses are to be built in the area.

Diversification

Makhura said the economy of the Southern Corridor needed to move from an “over- reliance on the steel industry” to one that included tourism and entertainment, agro- processing and logistics management.Among the projects would be the development of the new Vaal River City (hydropolis), with a private sector investment of more than R4-billion.Over the next five years, more than 120 000 houses in Sedibeng will be built.”Also in this corridor, we will continue to support the Gauteng Highlands development, a mixed-use development comprising industrial and residential space. This is a R40-billion investment aimed at creating 25 000 direct and indirect jobs,” said Makhura.

Source: SAInfo.com


 

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Green Capital: The City of Tshwane’s Green Economy Strategic Framework

GBJ 10 (2014)

By Alistair Schorn

As South Africa’s capital city, the City of Tshwane has recognised and embraced its responsibility to play a leading role in the transition of the county’s major cities and metropolitan areas to low-carbon, climate- resilient and resource-efficient models of development. This is clearly demonstrated in the development of the City’s Green Economy Strategic Framework, and its alignment with the City of Tshwane Vision 2055.

As with any initiative at the level of local government this framework was developed in alignment with the national economic development context. In this regard, the South African government has for a number of years recognised the green economy as a significant catalyst for employment creation, and socially equitable and environmentally responsible economic development. More specifically, the South African Department of Environmental Affairs states that the green economy refers in particular to two interlinked developmental outcomes for the South African economy, namely:

  • Growth in economic activity (leading investment, employment and competitiveness) in identified green industry sectors;
  • An overall shift in economic activity towards cleaner industries and sectors that have a low environmental impact compared to their socio-economic impact.

In line with these imperatives, the government has implemented a number of policy measures which aim to promote a transition to a green economy. These include the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, the Industrial Policy Action Plan, the New Growth Path, the Green Economy Accord and most recently, the National Development Plan that was released in 2012.

In the context of these national policy measures, strategies and plans, the implementation of South Africa’s green economy transition has been to the level of a significant degree decentralised to provincial and local government level. As a result, the City of Tshwane has identified a requirement to develop a city-specific Green Economy Strategic Framework, which reinforces national policy and provincial policy in this area.

What is a green economy and how can we get there?

In developing the Green Economy Strategic Framework for Tshwane, the City’s government has adopted the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) definition of a green economy, namely “one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities”

From the City’s perspective, therefore, the essence of a green economy lies in the following:

  • Improved human well-being;
  • Improved social equity;
  • Reduced environmental risks and ecological scarcities.

It is therefore imperative that a green economy transition can de-couple economic development from resource consumption and environmental impacts, and enable inclusive growth through a more equal distribution of wealth and access to ecological goods and services such as clean air and water.

It should also enable improved human health and well-being, through enhancing the quality and quantity of these goods and services, as well as the quantity and quality of public infrastructure and services such as transportation, education and civil services.

If implemented effectively, a green economy can offer a new economic path to sustainable development, in which the spheres of technology, economy, society and ecology are embedded in each other and are underpinned by systems of good governance.

Sustainable development and the green economy (adapted from the National Strategy for Sustainable Development).

This understanding of a green economy provides the broader context for the development of the City of Tshwane’s Strategic Framework.

The successful implementation of this Framework, and the resulting transition to a green economy, will require that the City makes best use of its inherent competitive advantages, to develop a highly appropriate, resource-efficient, low-carbon and inclusive programme.

The City of Tshwane

Tshwane is of course located in the north of Gauteng, and comprises over one-third of the province’s area. It has a population of 2, 92 million and a population density of 4 634 people per km2.

Tshwane exhibits a diversity of land uses, including residential (rural and urban), agricultural, natural open, industrial and commercial. Much of Tshwane is currently urbanised, although significant potential exists for agricultural production in less urbanised regions. Over the past several decades, Tshwane has experienced rapid economic growth and development, resulting in significant urban sprawl, which presents a growing challenge in terms of basic services, infrastructure and housing.

One of the objectives of the Strategic Framework is of new and existing projects and programmes to be included in the City of Tshwane’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) in the next planning cycle. The IDP for 2011–2016 has made significant improvements in livelihoods by addressing service backlogs and poverty through improving the availability and universal accessibility of essential public services (such as housing, water, sanitation, education and health care). The next IDP will therefore need to continue with service delivery roll-out, while at the same time focusing on the development of integrated solutions that reduce resource consumption and the generation of pollution and waste, while opening up new opportunities for green jobs and green economic growth.

The Strategic Framework will help to inform the City of Tshwane’s medium to long-term green economy objectives. It also forms part of the Tshwane 2055 initiative, which is a long-term strategy for improving the quality of living across the metropolitan area, revitalising the city, boosting economic development and attracting investment. It aims to articulate the City of Tshwane’s vision, game-changing interventions, indicators and outcomes.

In this regard, Tshwane 2055 has the following six identified outcomes:

  • A resilient and resource-efficient city;
  • A growing economy that is inclusive, diversified and competitive;
  • Quality infrastructure development that supports liveable communities;
  • An equitable city that supports happiness, social cohesion, safety and healthy citizens;
  • An African capital city that promotes excellence and innovative governance solutions;
  • An activist citizenry that is engaging, aware of their rights and present themselves as partners in tackling societal challenges.

The Tshwane Green Economy Strategic Framework is aimed at addressing primarily the first of these objectives, namely the development of a resilient and resource-efficient city. It will also contribute to achievement of the second objective, particularly in the area of economic inclusivity.

The Tshwane Green Economy Strategic Framework

The development process for the Framework included extensive internal consultation with relevant City officials, and significant support and participation were received from local UNEP representatives. Based upon this process, the principal drivers of the green economy were identified as a response to the growing economic and environmental crises that demand a new green economic model for the following:

  • Resource efficiency: the efficient use of natural resources to reduce the generation of waste and pollutants;
  • Low-carbon development: the use of innovation and increased investment in low-carbon technologies and solutions; and
  • Inclusive growth: the creation of green jobs and the greening of service delivery to ensure more equitable and inclusive growth with a focus on the poor.

It was decided that the focus areas or themes of the Strategic Framework should be action-based and aligned with existing green economy initiatives and strategies. These themes were accordingly finalised in March 2013, and were divided into two principal categories or clusters, namely mitigation and adaptation.Within each of these themes, the status quo and challenges were described to give context and perspective. Known challenges and barriers to developing the City’s green economy were used to formulate aspirations, objectives and appropriate actions for each theme.

These were incorporated into an initial draft of the Strategic Framework that was reviewed and finalised by the City of Tshwane’s Sustainability Office.

Thematic action areas

Under each of the mitigation and adaptation clusters, the Framework identifies the following specific thematic action areas, as follows:

1. Transitioning to a low-carbon city (mitigation)

  • Pollution and waste management – reduction and effective management of waste streams, including solid waste, wastewater and air pollution;
  • Integrated water resource management – coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources;
  • Green buildings and built environment – the development of a green built environment in the City, including spatial planning and public service infrastructure, with due consideration of national initiatives in this area;
  • Sustainable transport and improved mobility – improved efficiency and sustainability in transport systems and infrastructure, and the creation of an enabling environment for green transport initiatives;
  • Sustainable energy – including initiatives, in line with various national policies and programmes in the field.

2. Building a resilient and resource-efficient city (adaptation)

  • Maintenance and provision of ecosystem goods and services – protection and enhancement of ecosystem goods and services, with due consideration of ecological limits and rates of replenishment;
  • Sustainable agriculture and food security – creation of sustainable food supply systems which maintain and enhance the ecological integrity of land and other natural resources;
  • Sustainable communities (health and social development) – promotion of a vibrant citizenry and a healthy, skilled workforce that contributes to improved wellbeing and social cohesion.

For each of these themes, a set of overall aspirations, strategic objectives and appropriate actions were developed for the Framework.

Specific mitigation actions include the following: reducing emissions from buildings; improving mobility and providing low-carbon mass transport options; reducing the generation of waste and encouraging product re-use, recycling and material recovery; promoting integrated planning and land use; improving energy efficiency and developing renewable energy supply options; and encouraging the efficient use and management of water and other natural resources.

The adaptation actions include: main- streaming environmental priorities and carrying out biodiversity assessments to inform development plans; supporting and expanding government public works programmes to incorporate payment for an ecosystem services approach, enhancing the skills and knowledge in agro-ecology, enhancing local urban and peri-urban food production for increased food security; and providing services and facilities that enable a safe and healthy environment while enhancing opportunities for improved connectivity and social cohesion and human wellbeing.

A number of specific methods of implementation were identified to promote the establishment of a green economy in the City, including the following:

  • Investing strategically in green innovation and technology;
  • Defining a new economic base for a green economy; and
  • Developing partnerships between government, business, labour and civil society.

In terms of these implementation methods, the Framework identifies the financial constraints under which the City (and in fact all municipalities) operate, as a potential inhibitor of transition to a green economy, and it acknowledges the necessity for effective public-private partnerships to overcome this obstacle.

Furthermore, the Framework refers to the possible use of municipal fiscal policy, in the form of both incentives and disincentives, as an effective method of catalysing the growth of a green economy in the city.

A final element of the Framework, included as an Appendix, outlines the City’s targets for various measures and initiatives for a green economy as derived from national and provincial targets in these areas.

These include areas such as the installation of solar water heaters, the creation of green jobs, public sector investment in green economy sectors such as renewable energy and sustainable transportation, energy efficiency targets, waste reduction targets and the implementation of appropriate sustainability standards such as those for green buildings.

The City of Tshwane’s transition to a green economy will require a fundamental change in the established economic system, from one based on increasing exploitation of natural resources to fulfil the growing demands for material consumption, to one that can ensure sustainable and equitable growth within the ecological limits of Tshwane and the region.

Achieving this shift will require effective integrated planning, robust policy signals, good governance and high levels of accountability on the part of the City’s management. It will also require investment in new skills, research in innovation and green technologies, and a new mindset for doing business.

The Green Economy Strategic Framework provides a means to achieve these objectives, by outlining the suite of strategies and actions that are required to facilitate the City’s transition to a green economy and a sustainable development path.