South African cities are facing multiple challenges, including low, inequitable accessibility, and financially unviable formal public transport services. Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) has been posited as a method to improve accessibility in Cape Town, and other South African cities, by simultaneously increasing the proximity of opportunities and services for residents, as well as strengthening the financial viability of the public transport systems. In this paper, literature is reviewed regarding four characteristics of the built environment (density, diversity, design and distance to transit), that are purported to have a significant impact on travel behaviour, accessibility, and financial viability. However, the spatial segregation created by Apartheid urban planning, the low property market participation rates, and the public transport-dependence of most South Africans are among the reasons that TOD may have a different relationship with accessibility and financial viability in this context than the literature describes. The need for a deeper, contextualised understanding of this relationship is explored, and a method for its investigation in Cape Town is proposed. The broader aim of this research is not to identify optimal solutions to these challenges, but to propose a spatial decision support system that guides the myriad choices that need to be made in order to develop more accessible and financially viable cities.
Papers Presented at the 2018 37th Southern African Transport Conference 9-12 July 2018 Pretoria, South Africa. Theme "Towards a desired transport future: safe, sufficient and affordable".