This session explores and discusses two complex public spaces in Johannesburg, Jeppe Park and the Braamfontein Spruit Park. Jeppe Park or as it is formally called Gilifilan Park is in one of the most complex areas in the Inner City of Johannesburg. This public space has been developed over many years through extensive community activism and engagement with the City of Johannesburg to develop a public space that functions for multiple competing interest groups. During the week it is used by local schools and nursery schools, at lunchtime by factory workers, in the evenings and weekends by sports groups, including skating tours and for decades on Sundays for traditional Ngoma dancing. This has resulted in a collaborative design process with an award recognition landscape design to accommodate these multiple community actions. These actions continue to shape this vital public space in an Inner City neighbourhood that has the dynamics of informal settlements, hijacked buildings, mining hostels, declining industrial employment opportunities, gender-based violence and Inner City regeneration and gentrification. This park is a microcosm of the issues, challenges, and successes in building shared public spaces in one of the world's most unequal societies. Marc Sherratt's "Park of Light" is located along the public park of the Braamfontein Spruit in Johannesburg. This project provides a fresh approach to African urban parkland and solves difficult socio-economic problems such as homelessness using an Urban Park Regeneration Strategy (UPRS).
Hosted by: Centre on African Public Spaces, City of Johannesburg, South Africa