Maboneng ascends global stage
Maboneng Precinct – Jozi’s urban neighbourhood with great places to dine, drink, shop, live and be entertained – is making waves around the world.
In just one week, the precinct, one of Johannesburg’s most exciting and trendiest urban spaces, won two major global accolades. First, it was voted as one of the world’s coolest new tourist attractions to visit in 2015 by Travel + Leisure, a leading New York-based travel and tourism magazine with more than 4,8 million readers.
The precinct shares the honour with the Shanghai Tower in Shanghai, China; Eiffel Tower in Paris, France; ICE Krakow Congress Centre in Krakow, Poland; and the Starry Night Bicycle Path in Nuenen, the Netherlands. Second, it was the UK’s leading daily newspaper, The Times, that waxed lyrical about one of the city’s favourite tourist attractions.
“This is not the place for tourists looking for beautiful architecture and city walks,” the newspaper says. “It’s for people prepared to uncover the diamonds in the rough – and when they do, they’ll find a city that is alive and kicking.”
Located on the eastern side of the city, Maboneng, a “Place of Light” in Sesotho, has become Joburg’s poster boy because of its integrated urban regeneration efforts that encompass mixed-use spaces which enable small business, entrepreneurship, the arts, culture and fashion to thrive. But there are also loads of seriously cool things for visitors and residents of Johannesburg to see and do.
In a nutshell, the precinct offers an eclectic and cosmopolitan feel, colour and essence. Travel & Leisure heralds Maboneng as one of the most successful urban renewal projects in the world.
“Since Joburg’s trendiest denizens have been descending by the droves, a new public space was long overdue. With that in mind Maboneng welcomes its newest development in February – the Common Ground urban park. With sports facilities and a venue for open-air concerts and events, the park promises to be a cool community hub in an already booming part of the city,” says Travel & Leisure.
Offering a pulsating and creative energy, the precinct has developed into an exciting urban artists’ hub, with several well-established artists, including William Kentridge and David Krut, having their studios and high-end art galleries there. Maboneng is also home to the Museum of African Design, a multi-disciplinary exhibition and performance platform.
Cllr Ruby Mathang, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development, says it is pleasing to be showered with global accolades such as these.
Joburg Tourism’s Laura Vercueil says the naming of Maboneng as one of the coolest places in the world is “thrilling news indeed”.
“It’s thrilling for the Joburg Tourism team to see all these well-deserved accolades mounting. It is a resounding testament to the spirit of the people who love the city, people who live, work, invest and innovate in it. Hats off to Destination Joburg and everyone who makes it happen,” she says.