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Parks and green spaces provide essential services

The value of parks and outdoor spaces in South Africa is expected to prove even more precious as our nation deals with the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is well documented that properly managed green open spaces extend multifaceted benefits to their immediate community, and urban nodes at large. According to the Green Building Counsil South Africa (GBCSA), our parks have the capacity to punch significantly above their weight to assist in our social and economic recovery.

Parks improve real estate values, improve communities’ physical and mental health, assist the development of social skills, cognitive and physical skills in children and young people, as well as spaces to bring communities together and foster social ties of a kind that prove their worth in moments of crisis.

“If we look at Cape Town’s Battery Park, there are shops located nearby. The functional nature of the park, which encourages basketball, skateboarding, and spectators, enable the shops to survive, and in some cases thrive. If you create a place that people are attracted to there is obvious economic value,” notes Guy Briggs of dhk .

“We know from VPUU (Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrade) and other work in Khayelitsha, that when high quality public spaces are put in place they have a high quality public impact.

Neighbours start coming together positively. I’ve seen this in places such as Masiphumelele in Cape Town and Alexandra Township in Sandton; when these public spaces are implemented by the local community, they are well looked after and assist with developing a sense of pride. This pride is a huge factor in building resilient communities which can better look after themselves,” he said.

“One idea to make our public spaces more functional is to encourage farmers markets to take place in communities across all economic levels,” suggests Richard Stretton of Koop Design, “About 70% of fresh food in townships is purchased from street traders whose value chain enables effective wealth redistribution. Markets could be developed into local economic hubs.”

Allotment vegetable gardens provide another opportunity to teach farming methods, and improve food security in vulnerable neighbourhoods.

Public spaces whose potential is easily accessible to a variety of tenants, and offer a range of functions, will give their communities the opportunities to not only contribute to the local economy, community health and cognitive development but also to strengthen the community relationship networks required to maintain a functional society where people and planet thrive.

Find out how the GBCSA contributes towards the rating and assessment of environmental performance of precincts and neigbourhoods through Green Star Sustainable Precincts.

Individual Membership

Designed for professionals acting in their individual capacity, including single consultant-businesses.

Organisational Membership

Ideal for companies, government departments, and organisations.

  • Total Employees: 1 - 5 Employees - R 4080.00
  • Total Employees: 6 - 20 Employees - R 12570.00
  • Total Employees: 21 - 50 Employees - R 24690.00
  • Total Employees: 51 Plus Employees - R 43840.00

Lisa Reynolds

Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director

Lisa Reynolds is the CEO of the Green Building Council South Africa.

Lisa was the driver for the drafting of Energy Efficiency Standards and Regulations for Buildings and has been involved in Energy Efficiency since 2003. She serves on many committees in the SABS and within the energy management professionals’ space. She was President of the SAEEC from 2016 to 2019 and was the previous President of the ESCo (Energy Services Companies) Association. Lisa was instrumental in the formation of SAFEE (Southern African Females in Energy Efficiency) within SAEEC.

She has assisted the South African Government with its Green Building Framework policies, Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives and Energy Efficiency Strategies

Her passion for the “Green space” started with the birth of the Green Building Council in 2007. Lisa served on the Board and the Technical Committee of the GBCSA, as well as on several Technical Working Groups for Rating Tools and Criteria. Lisa. became CEO in June 2020.

Lisa has a BSc, an MBA and a CEM. Lisa’s awards include the 2007 ETA Award for Women, 2008 Individual Energy (SAEE), 2012 SABS Standards Writer Award; the 2014 Women in Energy (SAWIEN); and the 2016 Ian Lane Hall of Fame award.

Lisa is committed to growing the Green Economy within a Green Recovery.

Organisational categories

As an organisational member, you will fall into one of the below categories, and be charged according to specific size indicators. Please reach out to us for any further clarity on which category is best for your organisation

Property Developers

Annual Turnover

Investors, Owners, Property Managers

Total Asset Value

Major Corporate Tenants & Retail

Annual Gross Rentals

Building Contractors

Annual Turnover

Building Product Manufacturers & Distributors

Annual Turnover

Professional Services: Architects, Designers, Engineers, Quantity Surveyors, PM’s, Consultants, Legal

Number of employees

Research, Higher Education, NGO’S & Regulators

NGO or Research/Higher Education/ Regulators

Related Interests: Utilities, Financial, Insurance, etc.

Annual Turnover


Local/ municipal/ provincial/ state 
Contact GBCSA to confirm your category