Boom for the flat life in the city

With an estimated 6000 residents in the central city alone, flat living in the City Bowl appears to be increasingly popular.

This compared to the 750 residents found in the central city a decade ago, according to a survey carried out by the Central City Improvement District (CCID).

More families and residents are moving to live in the city by choice, unlike the students and transient housing that used to take up the bulk of city residence.

The regeneration of the city centre and its evolution over the last two decades has built a solid foundation for a boom in living in flats, says Rashiq Fataar, founder and director of Future Cape Town.

“The investment by both the public and private sector, along with key investments in transport, public spaces, safety and cultural opportunities have contributed to the economic case for the city centre,” he says.

Living close to work and schools, security and convenience are the major factors drawing people to flat living in the city, says Jacques van Embden, co-founder of development company Blok.

“People are choosing more compact homes in or near the city to cut down on daily travel time and to be closer to a wider array of lifestyle options on their doorstep. This and the City’s pro-densification strategies have certainly made regeneration more favourable,” he says.

The three top reasons for living in the central city were to be close to work, enjoying the “downtown lifestyle” and the diverse entertainment options available, the CCID survey found.

The positive impact of densification in the city can already be seen, says Van Embden.

“It fosters an environment where small business owners can get critical mass and thrive. It also impacts security as we have more eyes on the same streets. There is also a level of creativity that starts to bloom as people take ownership of their city,” he says.

A boom in flat occupation in most cities results in a more intensive use and appreciation of the public infrastructure and amenities, Fataar says.

“Other benefits including busier and more active streets and spaces, which naturally promotes a greater sense of community and safety. For Cape Town, there is still some way to go before apartment living in the centre is accessible enough to a wide range of people and some serious questions are being asked of why little progress has been made in exploring some more affordable housing developments. Given Cape Town’s vast inequality, one would think that greater inroads and will from all would have catalysed action,” he says.

The main challenges are to ensure that flats and housing in the city centre and broader central city can accommodate various groups of people, such as young professionals and families, Fataar says.

The CCID survey found 27% of respondents had children. The same amount of residents had pets

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Voting Booth
What do you think about the SA government investigating Chinese online fashion retailer Shein over its business practices?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
It’s a waste of resources that should go to local trade
30% - 1389 votes
I think Shein is being unfairly targeted
10% - 460 votes
Dig up the dirt! We must look out for SA retailers
43% - 2010 votes
I don’t mind, as long as the customer doesn’t suffer
18% - 820 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.