(Delft)Link, entered by Jonathan Wilson and Anees Arnold, students from South Africa who are currently studying in the UK, is South Africa’s first community-funded affordable housing initiative. It is a non-profit company that links prospective local developers, investors and tenants via a smart phone application.
Severe housing shortage
Cape Town suffers from a severe shortage of housing for low-income earners. The scheme, situated in Delft South, a housing settlement close to Cape Town International Airport, looks to solve this by empowering local residents to become micro-developers of their own good quality, affordable housing. This will in turn generate economic growth in local communities and enable residents to live, work and play closer to where they live.
Says TC Chetty, RICS country manager for South Africa: “(Delft)Link’s approach improves the quality of the built environment, equalises access to economic resources and improves the quality of life of those in marginalised areas. Notably, the project has the potential to be implemented in other, similar areas. It also reduces the time and income spent by low-income earners on transportation in order to access economic opportunity.
“Globally, with three million people moving to cities every week, the growth of the urban population is one of the biggest challenges facing society today. This rapid expansion is putting ever more strain on urban infrastructure and services. Many city dwellers live in slums or poor-quality housing and many have to contend with with poor air quality and inadequate transport links.”
Final judging in November
The Cities for our Future competition, run by RICS in partnership with the United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, called upon young people to come up with new ideas to help tackle the most pressing problems affecting cities in Africa and around the world. The competition received more than 1,200 entries globally and over 200 from Africa alone. The overall winner of the competition will receive a prize of £50,000.
An overall winner from Africa will be announced in July 2018 and will go on to the global shortlist. All entries on the global shortlist will get the chance to work with an expert mentor provided by RICS, who will help develop the idea in the run up to the final judging in November.
Sean Tompkins, RICS global CEO says: “Our aim with the Cities for our Future Competition was to harness the ideas of our diverse and talented young people to help solve the challenges of the cities they care about and make them better for generations to come. We hope that the leaders of the world’s cities are listening and will work with us and all of our shortlisted entries to make these ideas a reality and help tackle some of the most pressing issues facing their cities.”
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