Day 1 of the Change by Design workshop in Johannesburg kicked off with a thought-provoking socio-spatial tour around inner-city Johannesburg, organized by the workshop hosts, 1:1.
Participants were taken on a bus tour to Bertrams and Jumpers, where they had the opportunity to engage with the layout of the Apartheid City and socio-spatial geography created by mining activities over the past century. The tour also took the group along the Main Reef Road, a significant road that separates Johannesburg’s CBD from the industrial south of the city.
This part of the tour highlighted how the mining activities contributed to the creation of a stark contrast in living conditions between different parts of the city. The participants also visited Soweto, where they were exposed to the macro-scale planning mechanisms used to segregate and control populations during apartheid, a dark period in South Africa’s history. The tour demonstrated how these planning mechanisms affected the lives of millions of people, and how attempts have been made post-1994 to reconnect the city and overcome the spatial segregation imposed by the Apartheid r.
The group also visited Maboneng and Victoria Yards, two sites that showcase contemporary approaches to regeneration in the inner-city, as well as the ongoing issues of race, class, and inequality that intersect with these processes. The tour provided a unique opportunity for the participants to engage with Johannesburg’s past and present, and to gain a better understanding of the complex dynamics that shape the city’s social and spatial landscape.
Overall, Day 1 of the workshop provided a rich and insightful experience that set the tone for the days ahead, fostering a deeper appreciation of the challenges and opportunities that arise from designing for social change in the South African context.