Site logo

Follow Student News Grid on Facebook

Friday, 01 June 2012 21:24

At crossways for urban development

Written by 

Jordan du Toit: South Africa’s first self-sustainable farm village is currently under construction near Van Stadens’ bridge just outside Port Elizabeth. Crossways Farm Village is to encompass a 560 hectare piece of land in what is estimated to be a R3.4 billion development.


The development will include its own dairy farm for use by residents, as well as to generate income, independent water supplies, a state-of-the-art waste recycling system and solar panels for every building. The developers hope the development will eventually have its own municipality, thus making it truly self-reliant.

With Crossways, developers hope again to build a residential area within reach of urban life, but without many of its flaws. Their goal is to show people that this should be the future of urban development and that it is essential new developments are built to exist sustainably within their environment.

SRC environmental counsellor, Ruth Krueger, agrees with the developers aim. “I definitely think that the only way for humans to survive in the future is to move away from the idea that we are separate from the environment and can function entirely independently, free of the environmental consequences. We are part of the ecosystem, and need to live accordingly.”

The project is the brainchild of CMAI Property Development, under Dr Chris Mulder, who was also responsible for the Thesen Island development in Knysna, which is also marketed as an urban development that departs from  those developmental norms.

In a press release, Mulder was quoted as saying, “I believe living on a working farm without having to forego any of the convenience of town life has a strong appeal for a great many people.”

Crossways will include industrial stands for cottage industries aimed at creating business for artisans and for the agricultural industry in the area. A training centre will also be built to skill local people to start their own trading businesses.

The development will be built adjacent to Van Stadens’ wild flower reserve and they are planning on working closely with the reserve. All alien wood cleared in the construction will go into the development of the buildings.

A man-made wetland will be created on the property. Water recycled from the sewerage system will be fed into it, to irrigate public spaces and will also act as a water source for the bird reserve nearby. Rain water tanks will be a standard for every house built.

The development will have extremely strict building codes, but as such this has not deterred buyers as 70% of the plots have already been sold. Construction on many of them is already quite far along.

It remains to be seen if other developers will follow the example of Crossways and whether this model will be successful in the long-term. Those in the environmental field will certainly be watching.

View on Oppidan site:

Login to post comments

Latest ads

Upcoming Events

Tue Jan 27 @ 8:30PM -
Student Night at Doors in Edenvale
Tue Feb 03 @ 8:30PM -
Student Night at Doors in Edenvale
Tue Feb 10 @ 8:30PM -
Student Night at Doors in Edenvale
Tue Feb 17 @ 8:30PM -
Student Night at Doors in Edenvale
Tue Feb 24 @ 8:30PM -
Student Night at Doors in Edenvale