Plans are taking shape for a groundbreaking green neighbourhood development near Zithobeni in the greater Bronkhorstspruit region.

The development will be self-sufficient in food production, rainwater harvesting, energy generation and waste treatment and feature conservation, low-carbon buildings and energy efficient lighting.

The project was unveiled by senior Tshwane housing and human settlements official Amolemo Mothoagae during the Sustainability Week event at the CSIR International Convention Centre.

Initially mooted by mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa in the state of the city address in April, the concept is in line with Tshwane’s goal of growth and development being driven by an economy that supports a sustainable city by 2055.

The site identified for the development was a 159.68 hectare portion of the Hondsrivier farm Zithobeni, Mothoagae said.

The proposed concept would exceed Tshwane’s green building code in terms of energy and water efficiency, with privileged use of healthy materials that minimised indoor air pollution.

The focus would be on providing medium-density mixed housing models, combining housing types and sizes and income levels and allowing opportunities for homebased enterprises and small retail ventures within residential areas.

The aim was to develop a renewable energy model that used solar energy and other on-site resources, such as biogas from organic waste, to maximise energy generation.

Multimodal transportation would be included, with pedestrian and cycle routes and an internal public transport system.

Rainfall would be managed optimally through direct harvesting, retention ponds and drainage systems that allowed the recharging of groundwater reservoirs.

Ecological wastewater treatment methods would be used to clean up stormwater before it was used in urban agriculture.

An integrated management system would make water available for urban agriculture and high biodiversity green open spaces.

An on-site recycling depot would be linked to a larger recycling programme as well as energy production and agriculture.

A space for selling extra produce and secondary products in the community would allow the generation of income and links to neighbouring areas. Economic growth would be supported to enable informal businesses to expand and create jobs.

Specialists would be appointed and adjacent land portions acquired to expand the concept.

Strategies and partnerships would be developed and funding sourced. This would be followed by the implementation of planning, design and operational phases.