Building on an earlier examination of the broad strategic and institutional issues involved in implementing forms of transit oriented development (TOD) in Cape Town (Wilkinson 2006), this paper seeks to establish the parameters of an appropriate model for such development in the city’s rapidly growing Atlantis Corridor. The model is framed in terms of an application of the concept of ‘asymmetric churn’ in household decision-making with regard to residential location and travel choices. This is deployed to investigate the possibility of capitalising on the specific opportunity to influence such choices in the direction of a contextually appropriate form of market-driven, public sector-facilitated TOD which appears to have been presented by the recognition of certain difficulties encountered in the dynamics of current ‘greenfield’ residential development in the Corridor.
The primary segment of the residential market targeted in the model is the stratum of households comprising the middle and upper layers of the so-called ‘gap market’, for which the range of affordable housing options potentially could be extended significantly upwards by the creation of a system of ‘location efficient mortgages’ linked to occupation of a TOD residential unit. On the demand side, the increased affordability of such units would be premised on the mortgage providers’ understanding that such households would be in a position to make transit oriented travel choices which could then be traded off against higher mortgage loan repayment costs – in particular, by avoiding the significant costs associated with acquiring or using private vehicles on an everyday basis. On the supply side, the provision of such units by private sector developers would need to be underpinned by the establishment of an appropriate institutional framework to promote and facilitate such development, including commitment to the proposed approach from relevant agencies in both the public and private sectors.
The paper elaborates these aspects of the proposed model and notes that support for its potential feasibility has been canvassed among local private sector developers and within the financial sector. Some initial thoughts are offered on the issues that would need to be addressed in establishing the institutional preconditions to facilitate its effective implementation.