Johannesburg's Auto-Orientation and the Persecution of the Pedestrian Majority


Publication:
Date: 
May 31, 2010
You really need to almost get hit by a car to feel like a true Johannesburg pedestrian. That's the way it goes here. A huge, sprawling greater metropolitan area of about 10 million people covering more than 600 square miles, the city is built for the car. And if you're not in one, good luck.

I've been here for a few weeks and I'll be here for a while longer. My main exposure to the city has been on foot. And I'm not alone. The World Cup is going on in South Africa, so there's a lot of excitement. There's also generally a ton of activity in this city, which is the economic heart of the country, and by extension the continent. These two situations combine to make the urban realm a bit hectic. And for those getting around on foot, that hectic atmosphere is often dangerous as well. But don't blame the World Cup, or Johannesburg's economic power. Blame the city's physical form.