The City of Johannesburg is considering the development of new iconic ‘mega tourism’ projects as a means of attracting more tourists to the city.
The proposal is included in the city’s new draft Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) which are currently open for public comment.
Every municipality in South Africa is required to produce an IDP. The document encompasses all the goals and objectives of a municipality in terms of economic and social development in the short, medium and long term.
IDPs are expected to define strategies for managing municipal finances with the aim of facilitating everything from the provision of basic services to infrastructure development, improving land use planning and even disaster management.
The Johannesburg IDP is primarily focused on the development and redevelopment of key areas, with the city considering many ways to revitalize the local economy.
“Iconic tourist megaprojects, including theme parks, should be studied and developed, especially in large open areas in the south or west of the city, and in the city center to develop new tourist attractions. .
“Paris has the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Champs-Elysées; Rio de Janeiro has the Sugar Loaf and the Statue of Jesus; New York has Central Park and Times Square; Giza in Cairo has the pyramids etc.
“There is room for (Joburg) to develop and consolidate attractions beyond Soweto and the Apartheid Museum.”
The city also plans to further revitalize its central business district, which it says will impact surrounding areas.
He noted that some recent gentrification and revitalization efforts have already been successful, especially in areas east of the Carlton Center to Maboneng.
“Development of the Newtown-Fordsburg-Braamfontein triangle could be significantly boosted if the railroad project deck is re-examined, which could result in another potential megaproject just at the southwestern edge of the downtown.
“This could boost the development of the Braamfontein digital hub, provide a new area for Wits University expansion and further strengthen the integration of the Newtown-Fordsburg-Braamfontein triangle and its connection to Auckland Park.”
The city is also increasingly turning to new technologies to energize some of its poorest areas.
“Megaprojects such as Lanseria, the Alex redevelopment and the development of economic nodes in South West Soweto and the Deep South could be used to pilot and experiment with smart technologies.
“This could include rolling out 5G, along with other technologies, and creating new digital hubs/special economic zones in those areas,” he said.
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