Top design firm hired to plan Rama City

Rama City, the new mixed-used development to the north west of Pretoria, will have at its heart a new Town Centre that is a source of pride for all its residents.

Located about 22km from the Pretoria CBD, this modern Town Centre will include shops, restaurants, offices, medical suites and public transport nodes set around a tree-lined and traffic-free central square and meeting place where residents can safely window-shop with friends, people-watch from a trendy outdoor café or take in some street-music or theatre.

This will be the vibrant heart of the whole Rama City development, which has been envisioned by GAPP Architects and Urban Designers, the firm renowned for landmark development designs such as the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, Mandela Square in Sandton and the New Town Centre in Umhlanga.

The firm says Rama City will effectively be a whole new town, based on sustainable principles of mixed-use, integrated housing and employment opportunities, and that it has consciously been laid out to make for safe, convenient walking and the use of public transport rather than making private cars a necessity.

The town is being developed on a site south of the Garankuwa Hospital and the Medunsa campus, and is served by a railway line and a provincial road as well as regional bus and taxi nodes, so already has the basis of a good public transport system, especially for local residents who work in Pretoria, Brits or Rosslyn. These transport facilities will be easy to access from the new Town Centre.

However, it is intended that the development should also create its own employment and business opportunities and so help to grow a much-needed local economy in what is currently a marginalized area, and this is the motivation for the creation of a self-sufficient Town Centre bustling with commercial and retail activity.

Rama City is being developed on a 470ha site by professional developer Rama Horizon Developments in partnership with the Rama Community Property Association (RCPA) and will ultimately encompass some 10 000 new homes, schools, parks, clinics and community centers as well as the Town Centre.

Moreover, an extensive training programme that forms part of the development plan is already up and running to ensure the transfer to the community of valuable skills, not only in the building and construction fields but in information, education, technology, design, communication and management, to enable them to create and utilize new employment opportunities in their new town.

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