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09-05-2013: Cleaner air will lead to better health and quality of life for johannesburg residents

Major changes in transport and housing patterns will lead to a cleaner environment and improve the health and quality of life enjoyed by Johannesburgers.

The new Transit-oriented Development plan, announced by Johannesburg’s Executive Mayor, Clr Mpho Parks Tau, will result in a decisive shift away from private vehicle use towards public transport.

Housing-development will be located in high-rise buildings located next to the transport arteries and in close proximity to offices, retail shops, leisure opportunities and schools.

Within this new, compact urban form residents will only have to travel short distances between homes and places of work, thus reducing the need for private vehicle use.

Cutting down on noxious carbon emissions and exhaust fumes will lead to a cleaner environment and improvements in the health of the population and the quality of life they enjoy.
Transit-oriented Development (TOD) is a well-known, worldwide, urban phenomenon linking transport infrastructure to property development in a sustainable way. Johannesburg intends to apply these principles through managed planning and accelerate the process of urbanisation in a sustainable way.

The objective is to make the transport infrastructure – the public roads and rail – the basis for future growth through Transit-oriented development. This will result in a dramatic move away from private to public transport; a significant change in settlement patterns with the emphasis on densification and a concerted shift towards a low-carbon economy and the ways in which residents consume finite natural resources.

Johannesburg is widely recognised for its global leadership role on the issues of sustainable development and climate change. In 2014 the City will host the C40 Summit which brings together the leadership of the world’s 59 largest cities to discuss progress and announce new initiatives to reduce dependency on carbon-based energy and promote the use of sustainable energy sources.

Future transport planning in Johannesburg will contribute to the broader objective of providing a sustainable urban environment. This can be achieved through:

• a shift to alternative fuels and new vehicle technologies;
• increase efficiencies and  pricing strategies that will reduce traffic congestion and emissions;
• the restructuring of the urban form to get people out of their private cars; reduce trip numbers and encourage them to use safe, convenient and affordable public transport alternatives.

Through TOD Johannesburg will continue to lead South Africa towards a low-carbon economy – ensuring a sustainable future for all its citizens.