The physical form of our cities is one of the most significant drivers of a broad range of social, economic, and environmental issues. Over 50% of people live in cities, while 70% of global economic output and over 70% of global carbon emissions are derived from cities. In an increasingly urbanised world, getting cities right is arguably the single most impactful thing that can be done to ensure a more economically prosperous, environmentally sustainable, and socially equitable future.

In the South African context, our cities are still inhibited by the legacy of Apartheid-era spatial planning. With over 95% of South Africa’s affordable housing located at the urban periphery, impoverished (and typically black) households remain spatially marginalized and isolated from economic opportunity, essential services, and amenities.

The following are some of the economic, social, and environmental challenges resulting from sprawling urban form:

Income spent
on commuting

25 %

Hours Lost
to commuting per day

2 - 4



Higher cost of
infrastructure delivery


Higher cost
of service delivery p.a.

10 - 20%

Our response

Our consideration of these social and environmental issues shapes our decision-making and ensures we respond appropriately to remain resilient in the long-run.

Accommodating low-income earning households in well-located, amenity rich neighbourhoods is imperative. Through developing integrated neighbourhoods in centrally located areas, Divercity is bringing historically marginalized households positioned on the urban edge, into the urban core. This is by far the most meaningful and significantly transformative aspect of Divercity’s business model.

In carrying out this mandate, Divercity is demonstrating how strategic investment in South Africa’s inner cities can deliver the cities we need, while offering investors stable, and market-beating property returns.

See our investment case for more detail.