“Being a Smart City is not something we aspire to be. We are a living Smart City with a proven track record of innovation spanning two decades.” says Chris Blackshaw, CEO of Century City Property Owners’ Association (CCPOA).
Over the last 20 years, the 250ha Century City has grown into a multi-generational precinct, successfully managed by the CCPOA. The precinct includes five hotels, Century City Conference Centre, a Curro Junior and Senior School, two Educare centres, Oasis Luxury Retirement Resort and Oasis Care Centre for the frail and elderly. Furthermore, 454 250m² of commercial space and 212 000m² of retail space is owned by several landlords and either owner-occupied or rented out, resulting in more than 700 businesses who employ thousands. Century City has 21-million visitors a year and more than 4 000 front doors with an estimated 12 000 people who live in the precinct.
“Being a Smart City is the culmination of all the best practices that the CCPOA activates and adheres to daily, some of which have been in place since inception.” explains Blackshaw. “Announcing that Century City is already a Smart City across various segments and is continuously working towards improving and innovating on these segments and adding more, aims to raise awareness of what is on offer in the precinct for businesses, residents, and visitors. It also establishes itself as the country’s first implemented Smart City. Whereas intent has been announced and plans are being put in place in other areas and estates, Century City has a proven track record of successfully practicing expertise and innovation across the Smart City segments we have identified.”
Century City’s Smart City philosophy is to integrate and engrain Smart City practices through encouraging all Century City stakeholders – the landowners, developer, residents, and tenants, as well as external role players such as service providers – to be active participants in the goal of Century City not only being a Smart City but transforming itself into a Future City. This entails stakeholders aligning the way they approach, activate, invest and action their unique positions within Century City, with the goal of creating and sustaining a Future City.
Blackshaw explains how Century City implements this philosophy: “We have identified 5 key Smart City Segments which are the foundation of our Smart City philosophy in practice, namely: Smart Urban Precinct Management, Smart Environmental Sustainability, Smart Community, Smart Connectivity & Communication and Smart Safety & Security. Over the coming months, we will focus on each of these segments showing how Century City implements its Smart City practices across the board. We will be expanding in detail on vital aspects such as our open access fibre network that’s been in place across the precinct for a decade, the fact that we have been using treated effluent for irrigation and toilets since inception, and that we have a spectacular nature reserve, Intaka Island, within the precinct and all the innovative ways that we are conserving and educating our community on environmental sustainability.”
From the day of the launch on 9 April, forming part of the Smart Community segment, a free Century City app will be downloadable for Android and Apple. “Our custom designed app plugs into our community by giving access to the latest on what’s happening in Century City.” explains Blackshaw. “It’s also a platform for businesses within the precinct to connect with our community and vice versa, including a full business directory. In addition, the app allows users to check live traffic camera footage that updates every minute, and they can report maintenance and infrastructure faults directly to our Security Operations Centre (SOC). Another handy functionality is that you can make a call directly to the SOC in the case of an emergency.”
“We believe that Century City plays a significant role in the greater Cape Town, not only in terms of creating a desirable and safe precinct to live, work, shop and leisure, but it also serves as an important tourist destination. With a thriving community, beautiful green spaces, and a growing Art Trail, all woven together and interlinked with technology, we invite you to live and experience our Smart City!”
For more information on Century City Smart City, visit: www.centurycity.co.za/smart-city/