Heritage, sustainability, and urban development

Placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Placemaking capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well-being.


Heritage, sustainability, and urban development: Valuing tangible and intangible heritage as drivers of place-making in Cape Town highlights the importance of valuing tangible and intangible heritage in sustainable and just place-making in Cape Town. It makes several suggestions for how heritage can be better integrated into planning, processes, conservation management and relevant and responsive place-making. 

Heritage can play a powerful role in integrating infrastructural, social and ecological development in the City of Cape Town (CCT) and can be a catalyst for localising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG Goal 11 on Sustainable Cities and Communities (specifically target 11.4) calls ‘to protect the world’s cultural and natural heritage’.

In order to do this the report makes six key recommendations:

  • Communicate diverse heritage values clearly and build strong relationships with CCT departments such as the Arts & Culture Branch 
  • Build stronger economic arguments to bolster heritage budgets and leverage common budgets 
  • Clearly align heritage policies with other policy instruments and municipal agendas 
  • Build relationships, partnerships and capacity within the CCT and with civil society actors 
  • Advocate for heritage as a driver of sustainable development 
  • Build a strong knowledge base through research to inform evidence-based decision making