Innovative workshops recently held in Alex, Park Station and Rosebank saw residents re-imagining their future neighbourhoods. Get a close-up look at this process and its products at My/Your City Futures, an extraordinary exhibition now on in Newtown.

My/Your City Futures, an exhibition of the process and outcomes of pioneering workshops recently conducted in three Johannesburg neighbourhoods, opened at The Bus Factory in Newtown on Monday, 15 September.

The exhibition offers a window into a unique grassroots project currently being piloted in the Park Station, Rosebank and Alexandra/Marlboro precincts in Johannesburg, as well as in Kayelitsha in Cape Town and Korsten/Schauderville in Port Elizabeth.

“This project is to encourage South African cities and their neighbourhoods to start thinking differently about their future,” says South African City Futures, adding that the five pilot neighbourhoods were selected “because of the range of settlement types that they represent and because of their potential for change and development in the medium term”.

Key to the project is a process of “radical co-creation”, combining multi-stakeholder dialogue with so-called “futures thinking” and various types of visualisation to reflect on the future of urban neighbourhoods to 2030 – and to come up with new alternative visions.

Neighbourhood residents working together with architects and urban designers produced, over a number of workshops, a series of 2030 “design skins” of prospective future neighbourhoods rendered as architectural scale models.

These, along with other products of the Park Station, Rosebank and Alexandra/Marlboro workshops, will be on show at the exhibition, which runs at The Bus Factory at 3 President Street, Newtown until 3 October.

The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) is partnering on the South African City Futures initiative with the South African Cities Network, the African Centre for Cities, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Architects’ Collective, and the Mandela Bay Development Agency.