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Development Planning Print E-mail


Corridors of Freedom for a people-centred city

The City of Johannesburg is embarking on new spatial plans in line with Joburg 2040, the Growth Development Strategy, based on transport-orientated development. The shape of the future city will consist of well-planned transport arteries – the Corridors of Freedom – linked to interchanges where the focus will be on mixed-use development. Joburgers will then not have to use private motorised transport but can opt for the alternative means, which include cycling, bus lanes and pedestrian walkways.

The Corridors of Freedom will transform entrenched settlement patterns, which have shunted the majority of residents to the city’s outskirts, away from economic opportunities and access to jobs and growth. Gone will be the days of being forced to rise at dawn to catch a train, bus or taxi to a place of work. Families will be able to have quality time, with spouses and children sharing meals together in the evening.

Access to Opportunity

The Corridors of Freedom will usher a new era of access to opportunity and a choice for residents to work, stay and play within the same space, without the inconvenience and high costs of travelling long distances every day.

The transit-orientated developments include the Bus Rapid Transit system, Rea Vaya, which will have fast, safe and affordable mobility along the corridors.

Thus these corridors – the Corridors of Freedom - will give residents increased freedom of movement as well as economic freedom – liberating them from apartheid spatial legacy characterised by informal settlements, poor schooling and limited recreational spaces.

Johannesburg’s transport system will comprise well-planned transport arteries: - the Corridors of Freedom – linked to mixed-use development nodes with high density accommodation supported by office buildings, retail developments and opportunities for education, leisure and recreation.

This will give rise to a people-centred city where communities’ needs, their safety, comfort and economic well-being are placed at the core of planning and delivery processes. The Corridors of Freedom will result in reduced poverty for the majority of the City’s residents, who are currently spending a large percentage of their income on transport.

The new city skyline will see high-rise residential developments growing around the transit nodes, gradually decreasing in height and density as they move further away from the core. Social infrastructure, schools, clinics, police stations and government offices will be strategically located to support the growing population.

Through the Corridors of Freedom Johannesburg will make a decisive turn towards a low-carbon future with eco-efficient infrastructure that underpins a sustainable environment.

Targeted Areas

Over the course of this year consultations will be held with residents and stakeholders to finalise the corridors’ routes and nodes. The consultations will focus on the following areas:

In the medium term - 2016

  • Soweto to the Central Business District (CBD) along Perth Empire
  • CBD to Alexandra
  • Alexandra to Sandton
  • Turfontein node
  • Mining Belt

In the long term - 2040

  • Sandton/Randburg to Diepsloot
  • Alexandra to Ivory Park

Apartheid spatial planning has left the city with sprawling low-density areas without viable public transport systems. The majority of working class and poor citizens are still living on the fringes of the CBD and have to commute distances to get to work.

Private car use is a significant driver of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the city. A 10%shift of private car users to public transport for their daily commute will result in an 8% reduction in energy consumption.

Future planning must address sustainability and inequity. The most efficient urban form is compact, mixed land-use with an extensive public transport network that includes high intensity movement corridors and with attractive environments for walking and cycling.

Such a compact city is energy efficient, provides residents with greater access to services, promotes social cohesion and creates a vibrant urban environment.

The Corridors of Freedom Key Features Are:

Safe neighbourhoods designed for cycling and walking, with sufficient facilities and attractive street conditions;
Safe complete streets with features to calm traffic, control vehicle speeds and discourage private transport use;
Mixed-use developments where residential areas, office parks, shops, schools and other public services are close together, stimulating economic activity and creating opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs;
Rich and poor, black and white living side by side - housing options provided cover a range of types - including rental accommodation - and prices;
Limited managed parking to reduce the amount of land devoted to parking and further discourage the use of private transport; and
Convenient transit stops and stations.

Developing Dedicated Transport Corridors Holds a Number of Advantages for Joburg:

  • The City will focus productive land use and economic activities in areas where transport infrastructure – rail and road – are already present or being planned;
  • The demand for private motorised transport will be reduced and the average trip length will be shortened;
  • Public transport will become a viable alternative because residents will live in closer proximity to work, shopping and leisure opportunities;
  • High-density housing will stimulate opportunities for the SMME sector and small-scale operators in the informal economy;
  • The environmental impact of public transport in high-density areas will be significantly smaller than in the case of low-density urban sprawl reliant on private cars;
  • Residents will benefit because they will not have to spend so much time and money on transport;
  • Learners will benefit because they will be closer to schools;
  • Unemployed people will benefit because it will be easier to get to places to look for work;
  • Factories will benefit because workers will come to work on time;
  • Shopping centres and hawkers will benefit along the corridors and nodes due to increased numbers of people passing their shops;
  • Our environment (and our lungs) will benefit with less private car use and the associated dangerous carbon emissions;
  • Construction and other related industries will benefit because of the job opportunities throughout the lifetime of the project.

Strategic Area Frameworks

To attain this overall vision of a restructured urban space, the City is committed to concentrating capital funding and a range of interventions over the medium to long term in the Corridors of Freedom. The detailed planning for this has been captured in Strategic Area Frameworks for Louis Botha, Empire-Perth and Turffontein Corridors as well as precinct plans for Jabulani, Nancefield Station, Kliptown, Orlando Ekhaya and Orlando East within the Soweto Corridor. Planning for the Mining Belt is currently underway.

The Strategic Area Framework provides 1) the desired spatial response to the intent of the Corridors of Freedom vision by providing development guidelines and parameters such as housing typologies, development controls, densities and land use mix and 2) the projects and programs required to realise this spatial vision. In short, the Strategic Area Frameworks:

  • Provide spatial context for future development
  • Guide investment decisions
  • Identify requirements and opportunities for transformation.

The Corridors of Freedom represent a significant key opportunity to address and successfully implement the developmental goals of the City as outlined in the Joburg Growth and Development Strategy 2040. The approach outlined in the Strategic Area Framework therefore recognises the potential of the Corridors to realise a number of high level outcomes and long-term benefits:

  • Improved urban efficiencies
  • Viable public transport service
  • Reduced car dependency and shorter trip lengths
  • More people closer to work, shopping and leisure opportunities
  • Lower per capita infrastructure cost
  • Efficient service provision
  • Accessibility to economic and social opportunities
  • Economic, social and environmental sustainability
  • Reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions – environmental benefit and improved health and quality of life
  • Neighbourhoods supported with full range of social amenities
  • Higher land productivity
  • Residents will have a wider range of choices of housing – more rental in well located areas
  • Residential and economic activities in areas where public transport is present
  • Solid basis and support for long-term investment
  • Increased land value and social value in critical areas of the city
  • Enhanced liveability of neighbourhoods with improved public spaces
  • Spatial and social transformation
  • Housing options for range of income group 
  • Connected neighbourhoods 
  • Curtailed urban sprawl, with densification and infill-development overcoming the burden of fragmentation of urban areas
  • Restructuring (Spatially and economically) the apartheid city toward a more integrated city form, which seeks to make the city more accessible to disadvantaged groups
  • More efficient relationship between low-income housing, informal economies and public transport
  • Integrative development that can benefit areas beyond the limit of the study area
Follow the link below to view/download documents:;usp=sharing
Corridors of freedom Interactive Story Map for Medium Term Projects:
Implementation of the Corridors of Freedom is a long-term developmental programme that will require significant capital outlay by the City and other spheres of government together with a range of private sector responses and community involvement.

The story maps visually show the progress the City is making on implementing various plans, projects and other initiatives in the Corridors.

The City’s implementation is focused on:

  • Infrastructure:

In order to facilitate more development along the corridors in the form of a more compact and dense urban form and a greater mix of land uses, bulk infrastructure (storm water, water and electricity) must be of the highest quality and have the capacity to sustain this development. The various Municipal Owned Entities are implementing a range of projects to support the envisaged development.

  • Safe neighbourhoods designed for cycling and walking:

A key component in realising the Corridors of Freedom is the construction of a quality public transport system and associated cycling/ pedestrian infrastructure. To this end the City is implementing the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid System and an extensive network of non-motorised transport to facilitate cycling and walking. Significant walk and cycle ways construction are undertaken within the Corridors to link areas to the transit system and to promote healthy lifestyles; thereby contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions. A number of pedestrian bridges and upgraded pedestrian crossings are constructed to improve safety of pedestrians, including access for people with disabilities.

  • Mixed use developments that will stimulate economic activity and create opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs:

Diverse accommodation types and tenure options:

On average, the population in the 3 corridors will increase from 7 436 people per square kilometre to 41 632 people per square kilometre. High density residential developments within the corridors need to support a range of typologies, densities and incomes. The City is investing in a range of housing developments to realise the envisioned social inclusivity within the Corridors.

  • Integrated access to a range of social amenities

The vision for the provision of social amenities is linked to the creation of spaces that will unite residents. The strategy is to cluster a number of varied facilities together in an integrated environment that discourages fences and pockets of isolated public facilities and encourages multi-use facilities in multi-storey buildings in character with high rise environments envisaged along the BRT and around transit stations. The social facility clusters are spaces to implement innovative solutions on green buildings and the use of public places.

In order to construct a sustainable urban community the necessary social facilities need to be provided to the Corridors to support the increase in population. The City is investing extensively in social facilities that fall under its jurisdiction within the Corridors within the next three years. This includes new and upgraded libraries, clinics, sports and recreational facilities and social support facilities.

Inter-governmental cooperation is required to align provincial and national budgets to this initiative in order to ensure that their services such as schools, healthcare, social welfare grants and policing, are provided to serve the increased population demands.

Ensuring a quality urban environment also requires quality public spaces. Creating great places is a key focus of the implementation programme.

Follow the link to view Maps:

Precinct Plans, Studies and Incentives

Some of the local areas have greater potential for redevelopment and attracting private sector investment. However, given the focus on transformation within the Corridors of Freedom, prioritising precincts or interventions is not always solely determined by factors such as the economic return on investment, but also considerations such as social inclusivity and inclusive economic growth and participation.

 More detailed precincts plans are formulated for priority precincts within the Corridors.

 Studies to assist with implementation are also undertaken. These include Heritage studies for Empire-Perth, Louis Botha and Turffontein and infrastructure master plans.

Follow the link below to view/download documents:;usp=sharing


The City is also developing specific incentives to stimulate further private sector development, including rebates in the Rates Policy and new development mechanisms such as the Special Development Zone.

Follow the link below to view download/documents:

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Last Updated on 16 August 2017