Thinking about public transport in Johannesburg

In October Johannesburg is hosting the EcoMobility World Festival 2015 focusing on the possibility of an ecomobility future and making public transport, cycling and walking safe. As one might know, public transport is mostly limited to minitaxi’s here (kind of mini buses driving around Johannesburg) and walking is for the poor. The city is trying to improve the unsafe image of cycling by installing cycle lanes. Continue reading

Back to work!

From 15 December – 15 January Johannesburg is empty. No traffic, restaurants are closed for a month, everybody is on holiday. People in Cape Town and Durban say that the whole of Gauteng is migrating to the coast, good for business but not really for the relaxed climate that they are used to. I’ve spent some time in Johannesburg, Christmas in the Netherlands and New Years in the Drakensbergen. All very quiet and relaxed. But new things are ahead. Continue reading

Why design is crucial for urban planning

For some time now I have been following the debate on affordable or social housing. In the blog Vision, Apartheid and Gentrification I touched upon some of the general challenges in South African housing and urban development. The last three weeks I have been talking to several experts and I have attended two conferences (Social housing and municipalities & Department of Design). I noticed that I missed one challenge in my previous post: design. This doesn’t mean interior design or art, rather it means architecture, infrastructure, use of materials, human capital and local factors. So how does design fit in with social housing and urban planning? Continue reading