Cape Town – People living in Cape Town’s central business district (CBD) have once again had a chance to say what they want.

According to the latest survey by the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID), 91.3% of residents reported being very happy living in the CBD – up from 87.9% in 2013.

The CCID is a public-private partnership, established in 2000 by local property owners with a vision to see the Cape Town CBD rise from the “crime and grime” scenario it had fallen into.

The purpose was to create a safe, clean and caring urban environment that promotes investment into the CBD.

According to the latest CCID survey 66% of CBD residents live within 3km of their work or school – making the CBD a serious possibility for people getting to work via alternatives other than a car.

Of these 80% indicated they walked, 37% took the MyCiTi bus and 17% used a bicycle. About 34% have now lived in the CBD for five years or more.

About 27% of respondents indicated they have children and of these, it was most common to have two kids in a family (13%).

Almost half of the respondents (47%) own property in the CBD and live in it (with an additional 9% saying they own and rent out to tenants).

The Company’s Garden is the favourite CBD public space for 81% of the respondents, followed in second place by St Georges Mall (59%).

The biggest age group of residents (40%) were in the 25 to 34-year-old range, with the over 45s coming in second (35%) and followed in third place by the 35 to 44-year-old-range (22%).

“Not only are we able to see trends emerging from year to year, but each of our surveys also provides us with vital information in terms of our services as the CCID, to see where we can improve or to stimulate us to come up with new ideas to meet growing demands,” said Tasso Evangelinos, chief operating officer of the CCID.

For example, the increase in the CBD’s residential population (according to the SA Census, up from 1 570 in 2001 to 5 286 in 2011 and growing year-on-year) is revealing vital clues as to the new economic opportunities that exist to bring a vibrant night time retail scenario to the Central City.

One of the questions asked was what type of retail advances residents wished to see and among these were retailers with longer opening hours beyond 17h00. Residents also indicated that they would like to see more deli-type food stores.”

“We’re certainly seeing a higher percentage of families with children participating in the CBD, so again we are discovering opportunities for those businesses that deal, in whatever way, with children,” he said.

Rob Kane, chair of the CCID, said understanding what residents want is particularly important when you consider the growth in demand of “after hours” activities and retail. This is consistent with what you would find in other downtowns with a strong residential component.”