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Overview and departmental structure
Johannesburg's long-term strategy, outlined in the Joburg 2030 document, sets out goals for the city - including reducing urban sprawl, improving bylaw enforcement, creating a well-defined north-south and east-west development axis, improving sectoral clustering and fostering a well-defined urban boundary.

These goals directly influence the work of the City's department of development planning and urban management, which has as its vision for Johannesburg "a spatial form and functionality that embraces the principles of integration, efficiency and sustainability, and realises tangible increases in accessibility, amenity, opportunities and quality of life for all communities, especially the poor". The department is the key to spatial and settlement transformation within Johannesburg, creating:
a city with an urban form that is efficient, sustainable and accessible; a city with a quality urban environment providing for integrated and sustainable settlements and well-designed urban spaces; an appropriate and efficient land use system that facilitates investment and continuous regeneration; effective urban management to ensure maintenance of appropriate standards of safety, cleanliness and orderliness across the city; and an efficient and affective spatial information service that meets the standards of a world-class African city.

 According to its mandate, the department is responsible for the City's seven regions. The regional directors report directly to the department's executive director. Both the National Spatial Development Perspective and the Provincial Spatial Development Perspective inform the department's strategic planning for the city. These plans call for development and investment to be structured along nodes and mobility routes, to improve urban efficiencies and functionality.

 The departmental structure
  • The department has five directorates:
  • Development Management
  • Land use management
  • Building control
  • Outdoor advertising
  • Planning control and enforcement
  • City Transformation and Spatial Planning
  • Corporate Geo-Informatics
  • Urban Management Coordination​
  • Records
  • Legal administration
It also oversees the work carried out by the City's seven regions and the Johannesburg Development Agency.