The City of Johannesburg, in partnership with the Gauteng Department of Housing, shortlisted 5 companies in 2000 for the submission of development proposals for the development of a housing project called Cosmo City, located on ±1 100 hectares to the north of Johannesburg.
Basil Read and Kopano ke Matla were the successful bidders and decided to form a development company called Codevco. Urban Dynamics was entrusted to prepare the bid submission on behalf of Codevco and was also made responsible to manage the professional team up to the submission of the town planning application. Urban Dynamics was also appointed to perform all town planning and land surveyor professional services.
Cosmo City is an integrated housing project, which makes provision for 11 192 erven, of which 11 288 are for individual housing typologies. The individual housing typologies are split between 4 992 fully subsidized housing, 2 959 financial charter houses, and 3 337 bonded housing. Two existing informal settlements in the area, namely Zevenfontien and Riverbend, will be relocated to the site, mainly in the fully subsidized housing component of the project. The value of the financial charter houses are between R180 000 to R280 000 and the bonded houses from R380 000 up to R800 000. Nine high residential density sites have been provided in order to supply ±1 000 rental housing units. Seventeen school sites have also been provided, as well as other land uses such as garages, municipal, churches, community facilities and public open space purposes. Twenty seven hectares have also been provided for industrial development in order to provide job opportunities and reinforce the sustainability of the development. From an environmental point-of-view, 225 hectares have been set aside for conservation purposes. ±150 hectares have been reserved for provincial roads in order to ensure future mobility in the region for the beneficiaries.
The success of the project can be measured firstly on the amount of bonded houses being sold, as this is an indicator of the desirability of the project from a housing market point-of-view. The first 1 000 financial charter houses are also in the process of being sold and completed in partnership with 702 Talk Radio.
The investment from the public sector which has taken place simultaneously with the private investment has also ensured a quality environment from a social and aesthetically perspective. The engineering level of services have been higher than normal in order to minimize the cost of maintenance in the future, as well as to provide good quality of life, such as all roads have been surfaced and trees have been planted along all main roads. Each household have also been provided with a tree to be planted in their garden. Five primary schools and two high schools have been constructed and are fully functional. Four parks have been developed and two other are in progress. 170 houses through the initiative of the City of Johannesburg have been provided with solar panels. Eskom is investigating the possibility to provide such facility for all fully subsidized houses in Cosmo City.
The project has received three awards namely: Best Housing Project, Best Developer of the Year and Best Public Private Partnership of the Year, which indicates that this first integrated housing project has been recognized as the model to be followed in housing delivery in order to create sustainable development.
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