Africa leads with urban agenda for Habitat III

Africa is the first region to present a common urban agenda ahead of next year’s major United Nations (UN) gathering on housing and sustainable urban development, Habitat III. Kim Gurney reports from Africities 2015.

Public space in focus at Africities Summit

The politics of urban planning was brought into focus at the 2015 Africities conference through discussion on green spaces and how best to value them amid competing urban needs.

Foreign investment lacking in African cities

Foreign direct investment (FDI) levels are nowhere near enough given the rate of urbanisation in African cities, which should diversify for better resilience and socio-economic benefits. Report from Africities Summit.

The changing and challenging face of African capital cities

(21 October 2012, Johannesburg­) – The challenge posed to capital cities is clear: Given a small and sometimes shrinking municipal fiscal base, and existing service backlog, how is it possible to fashion viable urban policies and delivery for a growing number of new urban residents? That is according to Professor Simon Bekker, co-editor with Göran … Continued

Transport routing the spine of city culture

Johannesburg, 3 December 2012 — Our guide looks like an air hostess of the future. She wears a golden cape with a high-necked collar over a white shirt, dark knee-length pencil skirt and flat white shoes with red socks. She grasps a compacted white umbrella in her hand and makes her appeal: “Please, everyone, just … Continued

Art and the Public Interest: A view from Joburg’s Premier Public Art Gathering

“Public access”, the theme of Johannesburg’s second conference on public art, held November 16-18, was aptly cued the night before the talkshop as attempts to host a tea-drinking ceremony in Hillbrow were almost scuppered. The planned street closure was denied at the last minute by metropolitan police — no such permissions are being granted for … Continued

High-rise challenges to constructing a city’s identity

The Quality of Life 2011 survey, conducted biannually by the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO), was presented at University of the Witwatersrand on 23 July. The survey found overall quality of life increased slightly despite global economic recession, with government delivery as driver. But core challenges appeared to be of the intangible type that are less … Continued

“The real issue is not poverty, it is inequality”

Growing cynicism about politicians, concerns regarding corruption, massive levels of unemployment and ongoing “psychosocial challenges” hamper the basic quality of life in Gauteng, according to recent research findings. The Quality of Life 2011 survey, conducted biannually by the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO), was presented at the University of the Witwatersrand on 23 July. The survey … Continued