TechInAfrica – Smart cities have long been a fervent topic among urban planners and tech enthusiasts alike. Essentially, a smart city is an urban area that uses different types of electronic Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to collect data and then use these data to manage assets and resources efficiently—meaning it enhances the quality and performance of urban services such as energy, transportation and numerous utilities. Its citizens are also expected to manifest these newly-embedded technologies in order to maintain order in the smart cities’ systems, as well as improving the quality of their respective lives.
Nomalungelo Gina, South Africa’s deputy minister of Department of Trade Industries (DTI), professed that the 50-year Durban Aerotropolis master plan will turn the entire surface area around King Shaka International Airport into a smart city with diversified economic activities that will boost the province’s economy. Approximately 2,000 hectares of land and 10,000 hectares of green space will be made available for the expansion of this project. Furthermore, by manifesting a smart city in KwaZulu-Natal, it’s projected that the idea will create roughly 750,000 jobs in and after the process.
Gina also added that the Durban Aerotropolis is the only greenfield aerotropolis in Africa—which would make a feasible framework for investors to contribute in sectors like aviation, pharmaceuticals, property, and manufacturing.
This smart city, while definitely would benefit Durban in general, is also aimed to benefit the whole entire province. Future economic boom created by the businesses of this smart city would serve as a great opportunity for its surrounding areas.
Cited from the project’s official site, “This city is also home to Africa’s busiest seaport and the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest and best equipped container terminal and is strategically positioned on the world’s shipping lanes.”
The project also claimed that it will be one of the most prioritized destinations across Sub-Saharan Africa due to a number of reasons;
- A freight-orientated development with, at its heart, a world-class cargo facility managed by a single handler, Dube TradePort Corporation;
- Purpose-built; and
- One of few developments world-wide which incorporate a ‘greenfield’ site with additional surrounding land available for carefully planned and controlled expansion.
With approximately R1 million of potential investments, this has been one of the most prominent developments in South Africa.