Welcome Guest [create an account] or log-in:

Case Study 2 Opening Cape Town streets for a low carbon future

DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-64-7-3276

ISBN: 978-1-910158-64-7

Published: November 2016

Component type: chapter

Published in: Low Carbon Mobility Transitions

Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-64-7-2847


Cape Town’s apartheid spatial form and historically under resourced public transport system has created a resource inefficient city. Providing additional financial resources to upgrade the public transport system will not be sufficient to encourage a shift to low carbon alternatives. To create a low carbon future for Cape Town a deeper level of change is required – a radical transformation in the way different people and places are valued within the present urban context. This case study analyses a civil society movement called Open Streets through the lens of transition theory. It suggests that this movement is a niche development in which a transformation of the way people and places are valued could occur. While this movement has been well received and appears to have potential to help shift the regime of urban transport system in Cape Town, there remains a series of organisational, logistical, regulatory and funding barriers that are hampering its full development and long-term impact.

Sample content

Click here to download PDF


  • Leanne Seeliger, Unit for Environmental Ethics, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa (Author)
  • Lisa Kane, Centre for Transport Studies, University of Cape Town, South Africa (Author)

For the source title:

Cite as

Seeliger & Kane, 2016

Seeliger, L. & Kane, L. (2016) "Case Study 2 Opening Cape Town streets for a low carbon future" In: Hopkins, D. & Higham, J. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-910158-64-7-3276


Boulle, M. & Van Ryneveld, P. (2015). Unpacking implementation: The case of the MyCiti Bus Rapid Transit in Cape Town. http://www.mapsprogramme.org/wp-content/uploads/MYCITI_IMPLEMENTATION-1.pdf. Accessed 3 March 2016.

Cape Town Partnership. (2014). The low carbon central city strategy. http://www.capetownpartnership.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/low_carbon_central_city_strategy.pdf. Accessed 3 March 2016.

City of Cape Town. (2015). Cape Town Energy2040 Vision. https://www.capetown.gov.za/en/EnvironmentalResourceManagement/publications/Documents/Cape_Town_Energy2040_Vision_pres_2015-09.pdf. Accessed 3 March 2016.

Coetzer, N. R. (2004). The production of the city as white space: Representing and restructuring identity and architecture, Cape Town 1892-1936. PhD, University of London, unpublished).

City of Cape Town. (2014). City-wide public transport plan to ensure mobility into the year 2032. June, 17. Media Release 429. www.capetown.gov.za/en/MediaReleases/Pages/Citywidepublictransportplantoensure mobilityintotheyear2032.aspx. Accessed 3 March 2016.

Donaldson, A. (2015). Cape Town's cunning plan to deal with traffic congestion. http://www.politicsweb.co.za/opinion/cape-towns-cunning-plan-to-deal-with-traffic-conge. Accessed 17 March 2016.

Geels, F. W. (2002). Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes: A multi-level perspective and a case-study, Research Policy, 31 (8-9), 1257-1274. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0048-7333(02)00062-8

Geels, F. W. (2012). A socio-technical analysis of low carbon transitions: Introducing the multi-level perspective into transport studies. Journal of Transport Geography, 24, 471-482. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2012.01.021

Hodson, M. & Marvin, S. (2010). Can cities shape socio-technical transitions and how would we know if they were? Research policy, 39(4), 477-485. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2010.01.020

Hörisch, J. (2015). The role of sustainable entrepreneurship in sustainability transitions: A conceptual synthesis against the background of the multi-level perspective. Administrative Sciences, 5(4), 286-300. https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci5040286

ITD (2008). Cape Town considers BRT. https://www.itdp.org/cape-town-considers-brt/. Accessed 17 March 2016.

Lemanski, C. (2004). A new apartheid? The spatial implications of fear of crime in Cape Town, South Africa. Environment and Urbanization, 16(2), 101-112. https://doi.org/10.1177/095624780401600201

Lewis, A. (2015). MyCiTi faces R52m deficit. http://www.iol.co.za/business/news/myciti-faces-r52m-deficit-1834748. Accessed 17 March 2016.

Open Streets website. (2015a). Open Streets Manifesto. http://openstreets.org.za/about-us/manifesto-for-open-streets-cape-town. Accessed 3 March 2016.

Open Streets website. (2015b). What Capetonians are saying about open streets. May, 11. http://openstreets.org.za/news/what-capetonians-are-saying-about-open-streets. Accessed 3 March 2016.

Rees, D., Stephenson, J., Hopkins, D. & Doering, A. (2016). Exploring stability and change in transport systems: combining Delphi and system dynamics approaches. Transportation, 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11116-016-9677-7

Statistics South Africa. (2014a). National household travel survey Western Cape profile No. Report No. 03-20-02 (2014)). Pretoria: Statistics South Africa.

Statistics South Africa. (2014b). National household travel survey. Attitudes and perceptions about transport. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa. https://www.arrivealive.co.za/documents/P03202013. Accessed 17 March 2016.

Transport for Cape Town. (2014). Comprehensive integrated transport plan 2013-2018. May 2014. Cape Town: City of Cape Town.

Western Cape Provincial Government website. 2015. Streetiquette performers take over Cape Town CBD to promote pedestrian safety. November, 22. https://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/streetiquette-performers-take-over-cape-town-cbd-promote-pedestrian-safety. Accessed 3 March 2016.

Wilkinson, P. (2000). City profile: Cape Town. Cities, 17(3), 195-205. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0264-2751(99)00059-1


Published in Low Carbon Mobility Transitions

Hardback format [Details]Price: £85.00Copies / Delivery by post
Terms and conditions of purchase | Privacy policy