Cape Farm 933 Planning and Urban Design Framework

Client(s): Cape Peninsula National Park
Date: 2000 -
Area/Extent: ± 47 ha
Topic: Planning
Partner(s): n/a

The Project Challenge

The Farm is located within the Noordhoek Valley and a section of the wetland. The project was part of a rehabilitation programme to address the degraded nature of the wetlands and surrounds and deal with the acquisition of the wetland as a valuable ecological resource to be managed by the Parks.

The brief required a design intervention that responded to, among others:

  • The making of the wetland as publicly accessible without compromising its integrity,
  • considering private investment to ensure the economic and environmental viability and sustainability over time, and
  • making a proposal for recreational and local sports facilities for the broader local community and tourists alike.

Principles & Approach

The single most important criterion that this project was based on is sustainable balance, including the spatial ordering and proposed development of the site to achieve a balance between the site’s development and ecological role.

The approach was largely focused on the role of the site given its location in an extensive wetland system. The conservation and development potential of the site could therefore not be constrained to the cadastral boundaries of the property. The analysis, the key design informants, and the design frameworks are related to a number of scales, from the Greater Noordhoek Valley area to the wetland area to the site.


The site was divided into two portions along the 5m contour line. The portion below the 5m contour line was proposed to be included in the Cape Peninsula National Park (CPNP). The 37ha located above the 5m contour line was proposed for controlled development.

The planning / design framework established:

  • A conservation strategy that focuses the wetland as a key integrated natural system
  • A system of wetland gateways that celebrated entry to the wetland system at Imhoff’s Gift, Cape Farm and Noordhoek Beach.
  • Transitional zones from rural residential to green zone to developable zone to open space recreational zone to filtration zone.

It also established:

  • an integrated spatial strategy for conservation and development
  • a spatial strategy for development which deals with both short and long term development
  • a spatial strategy for development that considers the public investment structure and the private investment structure.