New Integrated Transportation/Land Use Forecasting Model for Western Cape Province, South Africa

The rate of population growth in Cape Town is pressuring the Western Cape Government (WCG) to address the lack of infrastructure connecting the city and surrounding municipalities. In addition to network planning and design, WCG is responsible for regulating public transit and minibus-taxi services throughout the region. With only half the population owning vehicles, various forms of public transit and growth in vehicle ownership are both vital to the population’s economic growth.

In pursuit of a sustainable solution, WCG has decided to create a performance-based approach to planning transport improvements. This combines objective information with public input to arrive at decisions that are more clearly in the public’s best long-term interest. A key element of this approach is the use of advanced planning tools to support the analysis and provide sound data on which decisions can reliably be based. One such tool is an integrated transportation/land use model that can estimate the impacts of various multi-modal transport and land use development strategies.

WCG worked with Citilabs to establish a comprehensive model of the region considering passenger travel, freight movement, and land use changes.



Three components make up the Western Cape model:

The Western Cape Travel Model implemented a Simplified Tour-Based Model (STM), a modelling approach pioneered by Citilabs. STM is an innovative, advanced approach that improves upon the standard trip-based model in a way that is easier to understand, more accurately reflects how people travel, and runs faster than more complex solutions. This represents an advanced type of discrete model that estimates every round-trip tour in the province.  The attributes of each household are synthesised using Stats SA data, ensuring that the model reflects local conditions.

The Western Cape Freight Model is based on the production and consumption of all types of goods on a nationwide basis. It explicitly considers macroeconomic forces, changes in efficiency of goods movement, and the effects of demographic shifts and network conditions on the transport of goods by rail and truck, both at the provincial and national level.

The Western Cape Land Model is based on the bid-rent theory of simulating the residential and non-residential real estate market under a variety of economic conditions.  The process converges to an economic equilibrium between land supply and demand.  The model considers the formal real estate market as well as the substantial informal pattern of development that occurs throughout Western Cape Province.  This brings a strong market-based foundation to the process of forecasting housing and jobs by location.  The results of this model are fully integrated with the transport model, so that the joint impacts of land use and transportation can be evaluated simultaneously.


Moving Forward

WCG is in the second year of a three-year project to develop this model. You can read more about the Western Cape Model in the New Travel Demand Model for Western Cape Province White Paper written by Citilabs’ transportation experts William Allen and Filippo Contiero.





About William Allen

Director of Services

William (Bill) Allen has more than 40 years of experience in transport planning, primarily involving the development and use of travel demand models. In 2010, he created the STM process and has led several projects to implement this method. He is the Manager of Citilabs’ project to develop a new travel/land use model system for Western Cape Province.


About Filippo Contiero

Senior Transportation Engineer

Filippo Contiero is a transportation engineer with more than 10 years of experience in the transportation modeling field. His main role in Citilabs is to assist users in optimizing their use of Cube, based on their individual needs and goals. He is the Principal Investigator in the development of the Western Cape Land Use/Transport Interaction Model for WCG.