Joburg’s spatial transformation: a grand vision

It is evident that 20 years into our democracy, South African cities are fundamentally unequal in many respects. The full brunt of apartheid was often felt most in South African cities, and yet despite this the South African government has done little to spatially transform our cities. This was the thinking, broadly, behind the Spatial … Continued

Highway redesigns Dakar

In August 2013, Senegal inaugurated the first toll highway to be financed from a unique combination of public and private funds. It spans over 32km from Dakar’s city centre to Diamniadio, the new centre of economic growth located on the outskirts of the capital. This road is the masterpiece of the government’s public infrastructure project. … Continued

Transport Month: Deepening the significance for qualitative change

October heralded another South African Transport Month. Given the number of national and international days for a variety of themes and causes, it’s easy for the significance of a month like this to be lost as just another event in a calendar of events. Transport Month 2013 must be different. It really does provide an … Continued

Not enough reasons to celebrate Transport Month, yet

October was important for the 278 municipalities in South Africa as it heralded the start of transport month. However, for the urban metros in particular it provided the opportunity and platform to share knowledge and information about how they are transforming our public transport facilities into an effective and reliable system that accommodates the needs … Continued

The formal politics of informal projects: part II

**Read part I of this blog post here.** In September of this year delegations from Zimbabwe, Malawi and Tanzania visited Zambia to discuss progress on the SHARE project. This is the fourth time these countries have met to discuss progress, assess challenges, and learn from each other collectively around sanitation. The value of the meeting … Continued

Parking obsession compromising South Africa’s transit oriented development futures?

Transit oriented development (TOD) has gained popular support in South African transport and urban planning policy circles. It has become a somewhat trendy term without any real interrogation of what exactly it means for South African cities. What is often neglected in the TOD discussions in South Africa is the magnitude of changes in mind-sets … Continued

The formal politics of informal projects: part I

This two-part blog post provides insights into the very real and grounded political and practical challenges “non-conventional” community models of sanitation provision face in Kitwe, Zambia. It charts the circumstances that led to work being stalled and how a way forward was mooted, and is currently being implemented. Sanitation provision in Kitwe, Zambia, gives insight … Continued

New toolkit provides cities with innovative street design guidelines

(Cross-posted from TheCityFix.) Urban streets are getting a makeover. In many cities worldwide, bike share stations have usurped parking for private vehicles. Protected bike lanes are replacing traffic lanes, while the unwieldy, barren intersections of yesteryear are being reinvigorated as vibrant plazas for people. After a prolonged period in which city streets were essentially designed … Continued

A people-centred approach to citywide sanitation

As the global development discourse formulates the post-MDG agenda, sanitation is a core area that demands attention. Having for too long been neglected by governments, as is reflected by sporadic service and dilapidated infrastructure for the urban poor, it is one of the MDG’s that will not be met by 2015. Sanitation provision has a … Continued

Creating an Open City one street at a time

Over the weekend, we (Open Streets) joined a conference organised by Future Cape Town to explore the concept of an “Open City”. In addition to inspiring and informative presentations, the event included a brainstorming session which allowed us to collect and compile ideas for small, simple and economic actions that can help build momentum for … Continued