Africa needs to be smart about city planning and sustainability as it faces one of the fastest urbanisation rates in the world and challenges around climate change.
This is according to TC Chetty, South Africa Country Manager of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), speaking ahead of the 2018 RICS Summit Africa event, scheduled to take place on 30 to 31 May 2018 in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa.
“The dominant theme for RICS Summit Africa this year is ‘Driving sustainable growth through smart urbanisation’… In the wake of rising economic growth, Africa’s rapid urbanisation topped the agenda at last year’s summit. And, this year we zone into how Africa can build smarter cities and more sustainable cities, to better deal with its high levels of urbanisation and global climate change,” says Chetty.
Now in its fourth year and dubbed RICS Summit Africa, this annual event brings together leading speakers and professionals in the built environment sphere from business, government, academia and the NGO sector. More than 200 delegates are set to attend the two-day event, sponsored by Cushman & Wakefield Excellerate, Colliers International and Broll Property Group.
This year’s RICS Summit Africa will follow the RICS Summit of the World Built Environment Forum, which takes place in London.
“RICS is a globally-recognised professional organisation that marks its milestone 150th Anniversary this year. Headquartered in London, RICS promotes and enforces the highest qualifications and standards in the areas of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. As a public benefit organisation, RICS operates in all the world’s major financial hubs in delivering international standards and policy influence,” says Chetty.
“With Africa’s billion-strong population seeking economic opportunities and better lifestyles in its cities, the pressure is on urban planners to create smarter and more sustainable urban environments. Greater demands are placed on resources such as water and electricity, but also on infrastructure around which cities are built.”
“The recent water crisis in Cape Town – in fact, water issues in general in other parts of South Africa and the continent as a whole – has brought home the very real impacts of climate change. Fellow coastal city, Durban, has faced a different side of climate change, with beach erosion and the resultant destruction of coastal property becoming a concern. While South Africa has overcome the electricity crisis of a few years back, power generation issues remains an infrastructure challenge in many parts of the rest of Africa. Built environment professionals, including city planners, are at the heart of dealing with such issues; whether it’s through building water and other infrastructure or innovations in the green building and the renewable energy space,” adds Chetty.
More than 20 international and local speakers and panellists will take part in discussions at RICS Summit Africa this year.
“This session seeks to explore the link between integrated, cross-continental infrastructure and inclusive, sustainable economic growth. The panellists will also look at how Africa can benefit from China’s multi-trillion dollar One Belt, One Road (OBOR) trade and infrastructure initiative,” says Chetty.
John Tanui, CEO of Kenya’s Konza Technopolis Development Authority is a confirmed speaker on the session that will showcase some of Africa’s smartest cities.
“Africa’s infrastructure pipeline is currently valued at more than $350 billion, but the challenge of demonstrating feasibility in development projects remains… The sessions on funding Africa’s infrastructure pipeline will assess the causes of uncertainty in African construction projects and discuss potential solutions, such PPPs and attracting FDI,” comments Chetty.
For more information log on: www.rics.org/summitafrica