chapter  14
22 Pages

Johannesburg’s Futures: Beyond Developmentalism and Global Success

ByJennifer Robinson

The ending of apartheid offered a moment when South Africa’s urbanfuture was relieved of the long burden of separate development and the threat of international isolation. New kinds of geographies were imagined, and new kinds of futures opened up for South African cities. For Johannesburg, these questions of potential futures carry a particular poignancy. Many times residents of the city have compared her towering skyscrapers and dynamic economy to some of the world’s largest and most powerful cities. On a continent where observers found it hard to identify successful or even big cities, Johannesburg has stood out. The racial complexities of these ambitions to world status in earlier times are less of a hindrance (although not completely absent) in postapartheid South Africa, but the challenge of achieving this potential remains.