The map of Gauteng: evolution of a city-region in concept and plan
Prof Alan Mabin
Date of publication: 5 July 2013
- Download Occasional paper
The mission of the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) is to help illuminate trends and dynamics shaping the region of towns and cities in and around Gauteng, and also enhance understanding of the idea of the Gauteng City-Region (GCR) as a project – a different way of thinking about and governing this space. While much of the data collection and analysis work of the GCRO is focused on the present, we also consider the city-region’s past and its possible futures.
A 2030 National Development Plan, crafted by the National Planning Commission, has recently been adopted. In addition the Gauteng Provincial Government, working with municipal partners and business, civil society and labour stakeholders, is drafting a G2055 long-term development plan. As our society looks forward to what sort of country and region we need to become, it is also important to look backward. Understanding the past gives us insights into how we have come to be where we are now, and so in turn what paths we should tread into the future.
This Occasional Paper is one of two that GCRO has commissioned specifically to deepen our understanding of the past of the GCR. Both focus on aspects of the region’s spatial past, and ought to be read together. This paper by Alan Mabin explores how the idea of a city-region found expression in various statutory planning frameworks over the course of the last century, and how embryonic cityregion concepts influenced spatial decisions and developments. The companion paper by Brian Mubiwa and Harold Annegarn considers the different but related issue of the actual historical spatial evolution of the GCR. It examines key spatial changes that have shaped the region over a century and provides a remarkable picture, based on satellite imagery, of regional spatial growth in the last two decades.