TOGETHER with the City of Johannesburg, the Johannesburg Development Agency is aiming to ensure all residents have freedom to live, work and play in the city. In line with the City’s Growth and Development Strategy 2040, the Corridors of Freedom will bring residents closer to their places of work and minimise pollution from motor vehicles.

The City of Johannesburg is being spruced up to make sure that all modes of transport, especially public transport, help to alleviate the City’s apartheid spatial and social legacy.

The Corridors of Freedom, in line with the City’s Growth and Development Strategy 2040 (GDS), will also ensure Joburgers live nearer to their places of work and be able to work, stay and play in them without having to use private motorised transport.

These corridors will be well-planned transport arteries, with an emphasis on mixed-use living. High density accommodation will be interspersed with office complexes, shops, and leisure and recreation infrastructure.

mayor parks tau smallMayor Parks Tau first introduced this strategy in his State of the City address in May 2013.

A briefing session was held on 5 December at the Johannesburg Metro Centre to shed more light on this strategy.

Tau said: “Our city continues to be shaped by our apartheid past. It is still divided between rich and poor areas, white and black areas, townships and suburbs. Black people in the main still live far from their workplaces and continue to travel long distances to places of leisure, school and work.

“We are re-stitching our city to create a different future for our residents where we can link jobs to people and people to jobs.”

The Johannesburg Development Agency will have a huge role to play in this as it intends to create attractive, liveable living environments and the development guidelines make provision for a number of variations and different types of housing.

High-rise residential developments will grow along the corridors, supported by schools, clinics, police stations and government offices. It is hoped that all this will turn Joburg towards a “low-carbon future with eco-efficient infrastructure that underpins a sustainable environment”.

Transit-led planning and transit-oriented development are particularly important concepts in the Joburg GDS 2040 because this is where two key strategic outcomes coincide.

These outcomes are:

Interventions in the space economy to ensure more inclusive and equitable economic growth such as inclusionary development initiatives that bring:
i) A range of housing options and commerce into established economic nodes; and ii) Development initiatives to make poor or declining neighbourhoods economically functional, and to improve quality of life.
Interventions to restructure land use and development densities to achieve a city form that optimises the use of natural resources (particularly energy and land), reduces dependence on fossil fuels, and reduces carbon emissions from motorised transport.
“A transit-oriented development (TOD) precinct is a mixed-use residential and/or commercial area designed to maximise access to public transport, and often incorporates features to encourage transit ridership. A TOD neighbourhood typically has a centre with a transit station, surrounded by relatively high-density development within a radius of 400 to 800 m, as this is considered to be an appropriate scale for pedestrians,” said Tau.

Tau said that the corridors will bring job and other opportunities for the City’s residents, especially those in construction and related industries.