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Old November 3rd, 2007, 08:45 AM   #1
Pule
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#Johannesburg Inner City Renewal

As Johannesburg's Inner City renewal is gaining momentum, I think a thread dedicated to the that will be appropriate. In here we will have to post the refurbished buildings with an exception of big project like Ponte. We shall focus on mid and small scale buildings, parks and all other inner city renewal projects.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 08:47 AM   #2
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This is one of the buildings in Hillbrow that the GPP rehabilitated to accomodate low cost earners.

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Old November 3rd, 2007, 08:49 AM   #3
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I also think that it will be best if we show the currently delapidated buildings and keep progress on them in relation to their renewal.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 08:34 AM   #4
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good idea, will try to contribute some time... bit snowed under at the office currently.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 05:09 PM   #5
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The Jewel city renewal. A couple of buildings here are under renovations. I have managed to take the following shots, will get more in future. To those who don't know that part of the city, its is located around main street between Ghandi Square and Jeppe. By the way Jeppe is also redone.

















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Old November 5th, 2007, 05:42 PM   #6
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thanks for the images and the thread..its fantastic that we will get to see the progress
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Old November 6th, 2007, 08:06 AM   #7
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There are plenty of highlights in new residential developments – but lack of progress in some areas count as lowlights for the year.


November 5, 2007
By Neil Fraser

I WANTED to do a review of residential this week but I see that I covered the subject quite fully just some months back. So let me just provide some residential high and lowlights and then link future residential to last week's topic – transportation.

Thanks, by the way, for the many comments received in reply to last week's Citichat, both supportive and critical. We need more debate!

Firstly, then, residential highlights. The rejuvenation of the Jeppe, Bree, Plein Streets' middle income strip; the move eastward towards End Street/Doornfontein; the strong recovery of Braamfontein, both in regard to student accommodation and quality middle-income, and the higher-income developments at the western end of Marshall and Anderson Streets. Public environment upgrading in Hillbrow and Berea should be starting early next year, although a great deal of building upgrading appears to be happening already, with a great deal more needed. (I believe that the Ponte re-development is sold out, which should act as a strong catalyst for the area. To think that ten years ago, the previous owners were applying for rezoning to a jail!)

Lowlights are the lack of progress in residential development on City-owned land in Newtown and Constitution Hill and a bunch of middle- to higher-income private sector central city developments around Commissioner and Diagonal Streets that just never seem to progress. There has been no progress this year at all with the Better Buildings Programme, which I hear is about to undergo a dramatic change that one can only hope is really going to be for "the better"! But why the interminable delays?

If one then looks forward, there is the continuing huge need for solutions to be found for integrated residential development across economic and racial barriers and a solution to the continuing problem of so many people living in sub-standard accommodation. Said Richard Daley, Mayor of Chicago: ".......We require that 20 percent of units be affordable in residential developments that receive city assistance. We demolish run-down homes or apartment buildings and turn them over to developers of affordable housing. Then we provide a subsidy that allows the developer to reduce the purchase price and still make a profit. We replace dangerous, unsafe high rises with mixed income communities, ending the isolation that has trapped residents in a cycle of poverty and failure."

Hopefully the current City programme of constructing "temporary accommodation" will allow for releasing residents similarly trapped in the not too distant future but I worry about the apparent lack of scale.

However, the biggest influence on how the future city will look and work relates to its transport-related residential component. One of the really important outcomes of a decent transportation system is the impact that it will have on the siting and massing of development. I think this has been recognised by the powers-that-be in the opportunities that will be offered for bulk and density but I don't think that is enough. We also have to have the guts to implement some meaningful interventions and I'm not sure that we are brave enough nor equipped to go that far.


Increase in inner city living
The past five years have already witnessed a massive increase in inner-city residential living because the market has reacted to the huge pent-up demand, skewed by decades of apartheid planning, for decent accommodation close to employment. But this has largely been through seizing opportunities to convert empty commercial or degraded residential into middle-income housing.
Surely the new transportation systems must lead to transit-oriented development on a far more imaginative and broader scale, requiring public and private sectors to work far closer together to create mixed use environments close to public transport. That requires developers to be working with public transportation authorities to plan for a diversity of development, including a wide range of housing types to suit all kinds of economic circumstances within an environment of a greater proliferation of open space and which encourage walking and cycling.

Several lessons of transit-oriented development have emerged from other countries – we need to learn from them.

Recently, I read an article on the "inextricable role" that planning needs to play in the development of transit in China (41 000 kms of expressway in 2006 ,which by 2020 will exceed 85 000. That's bad news as far as I'm concerned – last year China added 1 000 new cars a day to its roads!) but its railway system will extend to 100 000 kms by the same time. Some 11 265 of those will be rapid rail connections between provincial capitals and main cities, including a 174 km $1.2 billion high-speed train between Shanghai and Hangzou.

The article also contained the following statement, somewhat sobering because it's so close to the bone: "The scale and breadth of this investment in infrastructure are unprecedented, and understanding its ramifications is difficult for many, especially for Westerners more accustomed to Governments that only begrudgingly support mass transit. While these figures are singularly impressive, the official reported projections may be somewhat inflated. What provincial governments announce – and what is actually implemented – is not always the same. Statistics, reliable or otherwise, are hard to come by. Indeed, for all its recent openness, China is still known to guard and manipulate information it gives to the public, especially information it considers to involve the greater good of the citizenry."

If you read last weekend's Sunday Times "Survey on the City of Johannesburg", you will know that China is not alone in this approach. An article in the survey, "Public Transport Revolution Planned", was dominated by a picture of existing Metro buses (The caption read: "The present bus system will be turned into what is known as Bus Rapid Transport". I would call that not only gross misrepresentation but a miracle, rather than a revolution!). The City missed a great opportunity to start building enthusiasm and a common understanding of the BRT proposals and of the impact they will have on the city and its citizens – an impact that could make us into the really great African city of world class status. But do we have the vision to go beyond ourselves?

This City should stop treating its citizens as dumbos and turn what is without doubt a critical intervention into an opportunity to get everyone to buy in and rebuild civic pride. This is the biggest single opportunity that the city has embraced since the discovery of gold and I would have employed some of the genius of a Jaime Lerner, Richard Rogers, Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Santiago Calatrava, maybe even a Frank Gehry, to lift everyone's sights to what could be and to excite and motivate even the dourest and most doughty of critics.

Ciao, Neil
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Old November 6th, 2007, 08:23 AM   #8
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Bad buildings, the other side of Jozi.

This one is in Hillbrow. It looks like its vacant, I hope someone company is busy with it.



In Pritchard Street



In Pritchard Street
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Old November 7th, 2007, 07:20 AM   #9
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Are there any more vacant buildings in Downtown Johannesburg (besides the Carlton Centre Hotel and the Johannesburg Sun and Towers)?
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Old November 7th, 2007, 07:51 AM   #10
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Most of the buildings are not empty but the main problem with them is delapidation. The empty buildings that I have seen are the ones that are under renovations.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 08:40 AM   #11
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Anybody with any information about this?

Fashion Kapital











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Old November 8th, 2007, 09:26 AM   #12
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i have no idea what this is, and it doesnt matter either... it's new and it looks funky!!! that is all that counts!!!
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Old November 8th, 2007, 09:53 AM   #13
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The delapidate building behin this construction site is also being refurbed. The one with cracked windows.

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Old November 8th, 2007, 09:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltjie View Post
i have no idea what this is, and it doesnt matter either... it's new and it looks funky!!! that is all that counts!!!
It is funcky but I need to know as to what will is be used for, it might be something very exciting.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 10:10 AM   #15
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That's the site I was talking about the other day - Fashion Square. It's been held up by disagreements with building contractors (apparently), but it is seemingly going ahead now. Took a while - but great news, and will no doubt do wonders for the Fashion District as a whole.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 11:11 AM   #16
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i wonder who will move in first.... Stoned Cherrie, Sun Goddess?? Armani?? LOL
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Old November 8th, 2007, 01:48 PM   #17
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Don't write them out, I think there's a possibly of them moving into the area especially since the whole area is being redone. Remember that its just a walking distance from High Court pricinct.
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Last edited by Pule; November 8th, 2007 at 01:58 PM.
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Old November 19th, 2007, 10:53 AM   #18
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This building is next to the Salvation Army in Simmonds street, its visible from Standard Bank's parking.

This basically gives you an idea of how the whole of Joburg is busy with renovations.

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Old November 20th, 2007, 01:54 PM   #19
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Great thread to see the Phoenix rising from the ashes.
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 07:38 AM   #20
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Braamfontein

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