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Pinelands is a major suburb of Cape Town, South Africa, in which an increasingly diverse mix of cultural and age groups have come to live in recent years.
The area of the suburb is mainly given over to residential neighbourhoods, with a few commercial areas scattered around the region. Pinelands is noted for its quiet, leafy areas (the suburb is often referred to as a ‘garden city’) and has become a favourite living space for retirees, as well as a significant number of students and young professionals in recent years. Interestingly, it is one of the only suburbs within Cape Town in which the sale of alcohol to the public is largely prohibited.
The history of the Pinelands area dates back to the early 20th century, when the region in which the suburb would come to be established was located on the outskirts of Cape Town. It would become one the first area within South Africa to be built according to the principles of the modern science of town planning, which was inspired by a pioneer of this pursuit, Sir Ebenezer Howard.
One of the deciding factors in the planning of the suburb can be traced back to the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, in which over six thousand residents of Cape Town died. Overcrowding of the population was determined to be a major cause of the problem, and contributed to the rapid spread of the disease as well as the difficulties faced by the health authorities in in combatting it. The decision to base Pinelands on a more open-plan system, as well as providing it with a significant amount of foliage to improve wellbeing, resulted in large part from the lessons learned from this episode.
The first so-called ‘garden city’ to be developed within South Africa, the Pinelands area was originally taken up by a farm known as Uitvlugt, on which thousands of pine trees were planted. Overseen by the Garden Cities Trust, planning commenced in 1919, and with a combined donation from Richard Stuttaford (then the head of the Stuttafords retail franchise) as well as a government loan, town planning expert Albert John Thompson was brought in to design the area. In 1948, Pinelands was converted to its own municipality, and was merged into the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality in 1996.
Pinelands is located at the edge of the southern suburbs of Cape Town, so called due to their location south of the city center. The main road servicing the suburb is named Forest Drive, while the Elsieskraal River bisects the area.
As a relatively new suburb, Pinelands has only a few notable landmarks. Foremost among these is arguably the thatched house at 3 Mead Way, the first of its kind to be inhabited, and a national monument along with its street.
Pinelands is home to approximately 14,198 people, at a density of around 2400 per square kilometer.
The majority of the population is White, with English being the most common language.