Founded in 1919 with a vision to uplift communities through the building of quality affordable homes in harmony with nature, Garden Cities is both the Western Cape’s oldest residential property developer and a pioneer of sustainable development in South Africa. For almost 100 years Garden Cities has been building groundbreaking homes for all people in safe healthy environments that strive to protect nature’s inherent ability to sustain life.
Garden Cities has always taken the lead in developing communities in the broadest sense, providing the infrastructure that its thousands of residents need for their daily lives. Its high quality houses and apartments are set in finely planned townscapes with open green spaces and recreational areas. There are sports fields and clubs, crèches, schools, commercial centres, healthcare facilities, community initiative, and even dog parks. The suburbs it develops are in prime areas in the Cape Peninsula and to the north with residential and commercial layouts and road systems designed primarily with safety and convenience in mind. From gated communities to single residential homes and even retirement villages, Garden Cities houses and apartments are in high demand for rental or ownership.
The founding project Garden Cities undertook in 1920 was to develop Cape Town’s first outlying residential suburb, Pinelands, to combat overcrowding in the city centre. Pinelands was also the first garden city to be established in South Africa and one of the first worldwide outside of England. Thereafter in the 1950s Garden Cities helped reintegrate society after World War II by opening its second garden city, Meadowridge in the South Peninsula, to accommodate returning service men and women and their families. Around this time Garden Cities also developed the nearby community estates of Elfindale and Square Hill. Then, as the metropolitan area of Cape Town began to expand in the 1970s and 1980s, Garden Cities established further leafy suburbs at Edgemead and Northpine to meet growing accommodation needs in the northern areas.
More recent developments include the modern housing estate of Pinehurst near Durbanville and the major suburb of Sunningdale along the fast-growing west coast corridor. Running in parallel to these developments is Garden Cities’ very latest project, the whole new town of Greenville at Fisantekraal. Ratified by the City of Cape Town in 2014 after 8 years of planning, Greenville Garden City is a model public-private sector partnership that is setting the standard in South Africa for integrated sustainable human settlements. The development is aligned with the South African government’s Comprehensive Housing Plan and the Western Cape Provincial Government’s Green Economy initiatives, and includes Breaking New Ground (BNG) housing that aims to eradicate informal settlements in the shortest possible time.
Garden Cities has also become widely acclaimed for its social investment programme, the Archway Foundation, funding and building school halls and providing other assistance to children in underprivileged communities.