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Fraser slates smart growth

Posted On Monday, 10 September 2001 02:00 Published by
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It is inevitable that the Cape Town Partnership's "smart growth" proposal would generate opposition as there are two diametrically opposed views when it comes to any discussion on the issue, says Neil Fraser, executive director of the Central Johannesburg Partnership (CJP).
 

Fraser slates smart growth 'opposition'. Rode staff, 10 September 2001

It is inevitable that the Cape Town Partnership's "smart growth" proposal would generate opposition as there are two diametrically opposed views when it comes to any discussion on the issue, says Neil Fraser, executive director of the Central Johannesburg Partnership (CJP).
On the one hand, he says, there are those seeking better planned, more compact city and town development, and on the other, those who are "mainly major property developers and their lackeys, who obfuscate about so-called free market principles".

The case for smart growth is strong, he says. It will result in savings of millions of rands spent on public infrastructure whilst protecting established urban centres. He questions, though, some of the recent arguments by a property economist who bemoans the loss of productivity resulting from travelling in traffic to city offices.

Referring to this economist's view on the capacity-filled Ben Schoeman highway after the move of the provincial capital from Pretoria to Johannesburg, Fraser says that before the move, the majority of Provincial Government employees were decidely pale and domiciled in and around Pretoria.

"Today that level of government reflects the demographics of the country and most employees come from the south of Johannesburg. Any Gautie knows that the traffic congestion on the highway is actually the direct result of uncontrolled sprawl along almost its entire length, the very thing that smart growth seeks to avoid!"

He says the "sprawl" that Century City has added to the Cape Town landscape is decidedly bad for the city. Rather than it being the result of "free market principles" in property development, it is more accurately translated as "greed", he says

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