Governing the GCR series: Displaced urbanisation or displaced urbanism? Rethinking development in the peripheries of the GCR
This Provocation attends to a feature of the Gauteng City-Region (GCR) – its periphery – that continues to receive very limited public and private investment, yet remains home to many hundreds of thousands of largely poor people. The state and other stakeholders have grappled with the question of what to do with the underdeveloped zones of ‘displaced urbanisation’ on Gauteng’s northern periphery for almost three decades. Focusing on the efforts to plan for transport infrastructure along the deadly Moloto Road as a key solution to the problem, this Provocation reveals a set of unresolved divergences within the South African state apparatus. Some players support massive rail infrastructure development along the corridor; others do not. The paper contends that all proponents in the debate miss the significance of the day-to-day actions of residents, formal and informal traders, civil society, traditional leaders, and other actors, who are striving to transform the zones of ‘displaced urbanisation’ they occupy into vibrant spaces of ‘displaced urbanism’.
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