Greyling, S., Patel, Z., Cartwright, A., Davison, A., McGaffin, R., Roux, S. & Taylor, A. (2014) CTLIP Governance and Policy for Sustainability Report: Stakeholder Analysis.


In a context of rich biodiversity and extreme inequalities, the City of Cape Town is tasked with providing services to all its inhabitants – from seeking appropriate and equitable land for houses for the poor and providing bulk infrastructure to those who need it, while at the same time, developing climate change action plans and the city’s growth strategy for forthcoming years. Sustainable urban development has been embraced as a planning objective to address these diverse needs, including redressing past injustices and building a ‘city that works for all’,3 and harnessing the natural environment to appeal to tourists and investors – while simultaneously planning for future growth and development that is sensitive to the city’s assets but that takes into account the requirements of the city’s growing numbers.

The intention of Mistra Urban Futures’ Governance and Policy for Sustainability (GAPS) programme is to understand how sustainable urban development has been conceptualised and understood in different contexts in relation to the pressures of globalisation, inequalities, resource constraints and climate change, and to illustrate the role of knowledges in shaping different responses to the challenges of sustainable urban development. As part of a process of identifying potential points of leverage for achieving policy outcomes that support sustainable development, phase two of this project seeks to examine the factors within local government that enable and constrain decision-making for sustainable urban development. It is important to acknowledge that many decisions made by politicians and city officials are directly related to budget and legal compliance, rather than the objective of sustainable urban development. The balancing of budgets and clean audits are of vital importance. Nonetheless, despite the overarching need for compliance in these respects, other factors have effects on how sustainable urban development is conceptualised, understood and implemented in the City. This report examines these perceptions.