Photography by:
  • Amanda van der Walt

Histories & Futures

In its first five years, GCRO undertook some research into the histories of the GCR and some into options for future growth modelling. But there is a need to expand and deepen analysis of where the city-region is ‘evolving to’. This requires a better sense of the region’s history, and therefore its path-dependencies, and how it compares to other places elsewhere in the world.

There is a two way conditionality here with the need to theorise more deeply the ‘city-region’ (rather than just the trends and dynamics that are shaping it). On the one hand, understanding what defines the GCR as a ‘city-region’ – as opposed to a mere cluster of cities, or a mega-region – is a condition for understanding it in comparison to similar formations elsewhere in the world, and in knowing what to look for in projecting future directions. On the other hand, being able to view the GCR’s historical development paths and future possibilities in comparative perspective with those of similar places elsewhere is a condition for more adequate theorising of its ‘city-regioness’. This gives ‘benchmarking’ a deeper meaning beyond the mere tabulation of comparative data on key indicators.

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