MIDI offers ‘wish list’ for city growth

2009-12-24 00:00

FOLLOWING the Strategic City Summit, which took place in late October, the Msunduzi Innovation and Development Institute (MIDI) is poised to take forward a number of innovative projects into the new year, which are geared towards the city’s long-term sustainable development.

MIDI director Francois du Toit said the range of projects that have emerged out of the engagement and work of five focus groups — and the discussions at the October summit — represent an inspiring Christmas “wish list” for the city.

The core function of MIDI — a partnership between the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the Msunduzi Municipality and the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business — is to identify innovative and imaginative projects to help the city deal with developmental challenges, and to promote cross-sectoral engagement to ensure such challenges are addressed.

MIDI’s five focus areas include economic and business development; the environment and sustainable development; food sovereignty and the food value chain; human resources and education; and sports, culture, arts and heri­tage. It is anticipated that the task teams set up in each of these areas will come up with an action plan before the end of February 2010.

•Projects identified by the economic development group include the development of the Midlands Airport Project, promotion of the development of the N3 corridor and an agro-processing hub.

•Some of the projects identified by the environment and sustainable development focus groups include the formulation of a low carbon economy strategy, a plan to increase the area of formally conserved metropolitan land, the establishment of carbon sequestration and catchment greening projects, an integrated waste management plan and the rehabilitation of stream and rivers in the Msunduzi catchments.

•The food sovereignty group identified the development of a food gardens and mentorship programme and an urban agricultural policy as pressing issues.

• The Human Resources and Education group has focused on the need for a human resources skills audit and strategy.

•Among the proposals emanating from the sports, culture, arts and heritage group are the establishment of an events agency, a sports precinct along the Msunduzi River and a plan for a cycle-driven city transport system.

E-mail info@midi.org.za or visit www.midi.org.za for information.

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