Innovative Cities is a long-range plan of action that helps cities prepare for growth and development so they can be effective and sustainable in the long term.


Urbanisation continues to increase throughout Africa. South African cities need to develop medium and long-term strategies to ensure they are inclusive, sustainable, productive and well-governed to face the challenges of increased urbanisation and constrained resources.

Focus Areas

The Innovative Cities Programme of the South African Cities Network (SACN) examines the following focus areas:

The South African Cities Network has been acting as the secretariat to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, along with its partners, in driving the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF). 


Launched in 2014, the IUDF seeks to foster a shared understanding across government and society about how best to manage urbanisation and achieve the goals of economic development, job creation and improved living conditions for South Africans from all walks of life.


The IUDF aims to make South African cities and towns more inclusive, safe, productive and resource-efficient.


Urban data and indicators track the performance of cities over time. Cities can then be compared with one another to determine whether they achieve their objectives.

The South African Cities Network (SACN) also undertakes occasional studies and research to identify themes that inform urban development thinking, practice and governance.


Rural and urban economies influence one another. Rural-urban dependencies focus on how these rural-urban factors affect the layout and governance of urban spaces.