The Ekurhuleni Urban Design Initiative represents an important element of the new spatial vision of Ekurhuleni, one that is guided by the Theory of Change.
A Theory of Change, in this context, can be described as defining all building blocks required to bring about a given long-term goal. This set of connected building blocks – interchangeably referred to as outcomes, results, accomplishments, or preconditions is depicted on a map known as a pathway of change/change framework, which is a graphic representation of the change process. Built around the pathway of change, a Theory of Change describes the types of interventions that bring about the outcomes depicted in the pathway of a change map. Each outcome in the pathway of change is tied to an intervention, revealing the often complex web of activities that are required to bring about change.
The Ekurhuleni Theory of Change aims to put the City of Ekurhuleni on the required trajectory - through the stages identified in the Ekurhuleni GDS 2055 - of being a Delivering City, Capable City and ultimately towards a Sustainable City. In order to achieve the ultimate state of a Sustainable City, the Theory of Change is based on the five pillars in the GDS, ie:
· To Re-Urbanise – aimed at achieving sustainable urban integration
· To Re-Industrialise – aimed at achieving economic growth that creates jobs
· To Re-Generate – aimed at achieving environmental well-being
· To Re-Mobilise - aimed at achieving social empowerment; and
· To Re-Govern - aimed at achieving effective co-operative governance.
The new city design, as informed by the theory of change, is intended to guide and drive social, economic and spatial transformation in order to build a viable, compact, vibrant and sustainable region. In this regard, in his 2016 State of the City Address, Cllr Mondli Gungubele, Executive Mayor of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, outlined the City’s work on the conceptualisation of three key functional economic corridors as an effective way to reconfigure our urban spaces, and economic centres, namely:
· Thami Mnyele Corridor (Tembisa-to-Vosloorus);
· OR Tambo Aerotropolis Core Corridor (Kempton Park-Boksburg-Germiston); and
· Thelle Mogoerane Corridor (Alberton-Nigel).
The detail of the above strategies and initiatives begins to manifest through the formulation of a range of planning and urban design initiatives, including a number of Urban Design Precinct Plans for priority areas within the municipality. These urban design precinct plans, supported by 3D-modeling, provides a visual and spatial vision of the manner in which development in such precincts could manifest, showing the envisaged built form, the key urban design structuring elements, and spatial strategies and projects to catalyse development. The Urban Design Precinct Plans will further be underpinned by a metro-wide Urban Design Policy, which will contribute towards the establishment of a clear metropolitan (city) identity.
The Ekurhuleni Urban Design Initiative involves three main components:
· The formulation of a metro-wide Urban Design Policy;
· The establishment of an Urban Design Review Committee;
· The formulation of Urban Design Precinct Plans.