What's the Plan exhibition gets Maboneng talking

What's the Plan exhibition gets Maboneng talkingThe JDA's What's the Plan exhibition provides a platform for reflection and engagement on the last 15 years of inner city regeneration in Johannesburg.

There was plenty of interest and excitement on Sunday, 2 August when Joburgers got a sneak peek at What's the Plan, an interactive, multimedia exhibition that opened to the public in Maboneng on Tuesday, 4 August.

The exhibition is open to the public from 4 to 29 AugustThe exhibition is open to the public at Gauteng Institute for Architecture (GIfA) at 27 Fox Street, Maboneng from 4 to 29 August. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW PHOTO GALLERYThe What's the Plan exhibition charts the evolution of the changing approaches to regeneration and spatial planning in inner city Johannesburg from 2000 to 2015.

The exhibition has been specially curated for the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), which has spearheaded the implementation of the City's inner city regeneration drive over the last 15 years.

Mariapaola McGurk, collaborator at agency The Coloured Cube said it had taken "more than 500 files and data from the JDA and the CoJ [City of Joburg] about what they have done from 2000 to 2015 with regard to regeneration and spatial planning" to create the exhibition.

'Spatial planning is about the people that live in that space'

"All regeneration and spatial planning is about the people that live in that space, so this event is about speaking and creating dialogue with the people that live in the city," McGurk said.

What's the Plan deploys a visually arresting mix of aerial and ground photography, maps, scale plans and architects' drawings to capture four distinct phases in the shift from a regeneration strategy based narrowly on attracting investment to one that focuses holistically on liveability, economic sustainability, the urban poor and the needs of inner city communities.

Joining the conversationPeople attending What's the Plan are invited to join the conversation by jotting down their comments and sticking them to the appropriate part of the exhibition. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW PHOTO GALLERY"The purpose of the exhibition is get the people in attendance engaging and conversing in the exhibition and to create dialogue with the JDA and the CoJ", McGurk said.

Through the exhibition and accompanying booklet, the JDA aims to get City officials, investors, community members, planners, consultants, students and the public to join it in reflecting on the last decade-and-a-half of inner city engagement and to share their perspectives on where they see this going in the future.

McGurk says a huge amount of work went into the exhibition, which was developed in two phases.

"The first phase was taking more than 500 files from the CoJ and JDA and compiling a detailed narrative. From the detailed narrative were able to set up the exhibition in such a way it shows the changes that the JDA and the CoJ have used from the year 2000 to present."

Engaging with inner city residents, stakeholders

Through What's the Plan, the JDA hopes both to share its experiences and the lessons it has learnt over the last 15 years, and to strengthen its relationships with affected communities and relevant stakeholders.

Building relations with inner city communitiesPart of the aim is to strengthen the JDA's relations with inner city communities and stakeholders. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW PHOTO GALLERY"There are many exciting elements to this expedition," McGurk said. "It has a very high level of engagement via social media and through the exhibition itself, because people are allowed to write their notes about Joburg's development and paste them on the exhibition.

"All of the comments on social media and the notes pasted on the exhibition will be compiled into a report and sent to the JDA."

Among those who attended Sunday's preview was Sechaba Machabe, a passionate inner city photographer. Machabe described exhibition as "not only insightful and informing, but it is positive because it gives us Joburgers an opportunity to have our say".

What's the Plan? (Inner City) will run at the Gauteng Institute for Architecture (GIfA) at 27 Fox Street in Maboneng from 4 to 29 August, to be followed in 2016 by What's the Plan? (Alexandra), which will document the evolution of the JDA's development planning for the city's oldest township.