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09-05-2013: New Transport arteries will create united and integrated Johannesburg

Johannesburg’s new “Corridors of Freedom” will dismantle the spatial and social legacy of apartheid and create a united and unified Johannesburg.

The strong emphasis on mixed-use development and rental accommodation located close to the transport arteries and nodes will open up new opportunities for families and individuals to live, work and play much closer to the core of the City.

This arose from Johannesburg City Executive Mayor’s State of the City Address (SOCA) today (Thursday May 9, 2013).

For decades Johannesburg’s spatial planning was dominated by the apartheid concept of segregation in which the majority of, mainly black residents live in townships on the outskirts of the city and away from economic opportunities.

A large segment of residents still live in small houses and in informal settlements that lack much of the infrastructure that makes Johannesburg a world class city. This has resulted in a racially segregated and divided city.

Transit-oriented development will change these entrenched settlement patterns. It will also slow down the process of urban sprawl and the uncontrolled spread of low-density developments on the fringes of the city. Such developments raise the cost of providing infrastructure and services and its residents are entirely dependent on private transport.

The new transport corridors will create high-density developments and establish urban environments which mix residential space with office accommodation, retail, leisure and recreational opportunities.

An effective and affordable public transport system will link these nodes enabling residents to travel only short distance between home and work place, cutting down on costs and travel time. 
Schools, clinics and community facilities will be located in close proximity to residences and work places meaning that children living in the same area will attend the same school together. Leisure and recreational facilities will also be integrated leading to greater social interaction between people sharing the same geographical space.

This will result in significant social and cultural interaction and help to break down the barriers erected by the policies of segregation.