11 November 2016
Jonathan Manning Group Managing Director, Principal Osmond Lange Architects & Planners, South Africa
Jonathan is an Architect and Urban Designer based in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he is Group Managing Director of Osmond Lange Architects & Planners. Established in 1929, Osmond Lange is one of the larger architectural and urban planning practices in South Africa, with offices in Johannesburg, Durban, East London and Cape Town, as well as associated offices in seven other African countries. Osmond Lange undertakes work across all sectors, including residential, retail, industrial, education, healthcare and commercial offices with a particular specialisation in relation to the planning of integrated mixed use commercial precincts, the best known of which is Melrose Arch in Johannesburg. Latterly, the practice has developed specialised expertise in relation to the masterplanning, design and implementation of major airport and airport city projects.
Jonathan’s recent involvement in this area includes work on the KwaZulu-Natal Integrated Aerotropolis Strategy, development of the Master Coordination Plan for the Airport City surrounding Johannesburg’s O. R. Tambo International Airport, the O. R. Tambo Terminal A Refurbishment project, as well as the O. R. Tambo Western Precinct Commercialisation project which includes a 200,000m2 terminal nexus precinct recently launched at the 2016 SAPOA Conference.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE ESSENTIALS FOR PRODUCTIVE AIRPORT CITY DESIGN?
Firstly, since an Airport City essentially “piggybacks” on the infrastructure network of the airport it adjoins and leverages on the accessibility advantages and market of airport passengers and workers, it is absolutely fundamental that the primacy of Aviation Planning is maintained so as not to kill the proverbial golden goose that lays the golden egg. The long-term needs of the airport for future operations, expansion, access and servicing must be always be given priority. Secondly, due cognisance of the airport’s operational model must be factored into the planning of development adjacent to or near the airport. Disruption of continuous operations at the airport is not desirable, thus development must be planned in such a way that it can be constructed without compromising ongoing operations, obstructing access or interrupting services.
Non-aeronautical revenues, including retail and property development, are becoming increasingly important to the business models of major airports around the world. Key to increasing these revenues is the structuring and sequencing of development around the airport to maximise development value and achieve highest and best use of available land assets that are not required for aviation purposes. The phasing of development is also important with a view to achieving a balanced infrastructure spend. Lastly, in parallel with commercial considerations, the social impact of the project is also vitally important. Due consideration must be given to job creation and opportunities for participation in the project by local businesses both during and post construction.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL ARE THE MOST LIKELY SCENARIOS OR CHANGES THAT THE AIRPORT CITY OR AEROTROPOLIS INDUSTRY WILL FACE IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS?
I think that you will start to see the emergence of the Aerotropolis and Airport City as a dominant city form across the global south, particularly within Africa, which is last untapped market for the aviation sector. For this emergence to take hold in Africa, liberalisation of the regulatory environment for the airline industry will need to be accelerated, ideally with the long overdue implementation of the 1999 Yamoussoukro Declaration. I also think that sustainability, already an important issue and design informant for Airport Cities, will become even more important over the next 5 years, possibly with the beginnings of globally defined and prescribed standards.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE ROLE OF UBM AIRPORT CITY (ACE) AND HOW DOES THIS BENEFIT THE INDUSTRY?
Aerotropolises and Airport Cities are the closest places in time in each country to the rest of the world, and act as their interfaces with the outside world. Inevitably, an Aerotropolis will be partially shaped by international best practice and partially by the unique physical, social and cultural context in which it is located. It is essential that the teams engaged in Aerotropolis planning and operations combine skills sets and experience covering both these areas of knowledge. Against this backdrop, the role played by UBM Airport Cities conferences in bringing people engaged in planning of Aerotropolis and Airport City projects across the globe together to share knowledge and ideas both around international best practice and local specificities, cannot be understated.
11 November 2016