The Economic Areas Management Programme (‘ECAMP’) is a ground-breaking research and policy support initiative which tracks and routinely assesses the market performance and long-term growth potential of over seventy business precincts across the metropolitan region; on this basis, local interventions are identified which help ensure that each business precinct performs optimally given its particular locational assets.
Recognising the vital role of credible, up-to-date and accessible location intelligence in driving economic competitiveness, technological innovation and urban efficiency, the City has advanced to the forefront of evidence-based planning by developing a purpose-built yet flexible decision-making support tool to guide the spatial targeting of area-based interventions, and - through our public user interface - share our information with the private sector, helping entrepreneurs and corporates alike identify both area-based risks and opportunities across 71 business precincts across the City. This initiative - the Economic Areas Management Programme - or ECAMP for short - has been described by the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry as a "game changer", and by the World Bank as "at the leading edge, globally".
Supported by a diverse team of academics, economists, property brokers, we have developed a diagnostic model which beneficiates a massive and hitherto under-utilised pool of administrative, proprietary and open-source data into actionable information. Not dissimilar to the mapping of portfolio assets, this model systematically tracks both the market performance and the long-term growth potential of each business district, and by doing so offers an up-to-date and evidence-based diagnostic assessment of each area, giving us insight into local business dynamics, opportunities and inefficiencies; on this basis, the model recommends an appropriate area-based strategy and proposes practical local interventions. Not only does the model help us decide what to do and where, but it helps us gauge the effectiveness of our intervention on local businesses.
At least as important as its strategic role in concretising the City's commitment to evidence-based planning is ECAMP's role as a direct economic intervention, where the City launches and continuously improves a web-based platform by sharing high quality, up-to-date market intelligence with the private sector at no cost to the user. As we have said, the City recognises that the cost of credible market information presently entrenches a risk-averse, follow-your-leader approach to location decisions, especially by small and medium-sized firms. We also recognise the challenges faced by our investment promotion bodies in timeously sourcing the reliable information needed to package investment opportunities for overseas clients. We therefore encourage businesses big and small to visit the test version of our ECAMP web portal, explore a uniquely data-driven view of our space economy, and drill down to your area of interest, and find out how it compares using over seventy measures of performance and location potential.