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South Africa’s leading city scooped the 2014 Excellence in Planning Award at the Planning Africa Conference in Durban recently.

This was after being acknowledged by several local and international delegates for its Corridors of Freedom project, a unique spatial development initiative aimed at breaking down apartheid planning patterns and redesigning Johannesburg into one and united modern city.

The Corridors of Freedom seek to transform the city by redressing lifestyle inequalities, improving mobility and access, and reducing travel times of those residents who live on the city’s outskirts.

Hosted biennially by the South African Planning Institute, the conference serves as a key knowledge exchange platform for the continental and international planning community.

Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Development Planning and Urban Management Councillor Roslynn Greeff said being commended for “our progressive planning and our vision was incredibly positive, winning the award puts Joburg on the map,” she said.

MMC Greeff, Executive Director of Development Planning and Urban Management Yondela Silimela and Director Herman Pienaar all presented papers on the various aspects of the Corridors of Freedom project and its spatial transformation goals, including addressing competing demands and interests.

“The papers were enthusiastically received by local and international delegates. The award will be handed to Johannesburg Executive Mayor Mpho Parks Tau at the City’s next mayoral committee meeting before being put on display outside Committee Room C, along with the other awards the City has won.

“The highlight of the Planning Africa Conference 2014 for me was when Joburg’s presentations were lauded by the delegates. [The City’s Development Planning and Urban Management Department was] recognised for being the most progressive planning department in South Africa and indeed Africa and for that I am incredibly proud,” she said.

“All stakeholders involved in the implementation of the Corridors of Freedom strategy will continue to engage positively with the City, working together towards realising our highly acclaimed and recognised goal,” said MMC Greeff.

She said her department’s aim now was to win more Awards at the next Planning Africa Conference in 2016.

“Currently, the Corridors of Freedom are at a stage where we are implementing strategy. We are aiming at casting the Corridors in stone within the next two years and I’d like us to win an award for our demonstrable implementation of the Corridors of Freedom,” she concluded.

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