TOD will improve quality of life

tod node

A new spatial vision is on the cards for the city, in line with Joburg 2040, the long-term growth and development strategy. Central to this is Transit-Oriented Development.


Transit-Oriented Development is a means of creating vibrant, liveable communities through building compact, walkable neighbourhoods centered on high quality transport systems.

Such a system of town planning will make it possible for residents to have a higher standard of living and a better quality of life, without complete dependence on a car for mobility and survival.

The shape of the future Joburg will consist of well-planned transport arteries – the Corridors of Freedom – linked to interchanges where the focus will be on mixed-use development – high-density accommodation, supported by office buildings, retail development and opportunities for leisure and recreation. In this future, Joburgers will live closer to their places of work and will be able to work, stay and play without having to use their own personal transport.

Joburg is still shaped by the country’s apartheid past and areas are still divided between rich and poor, white and black, townships and suburbs.

Ensuring Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is the work of the JDA, which has selected key areas across the city. These include parts of Soweto, Diepsloot, Alexandra, Turffontein and across the mining belt.

High density residential

High-rise residential developments will transform Joburg’s skyline and will multiply around the transit nodes, gradually decreasing in height and density as they move further away from the core. Social infrastructure and schools, clinics, police stations and government offices will be strategically located to support the burgeoning population. Neighbourhoods will be supported by local shops, local parks, local schools, local clinics and local police stations. Residents will be given a wider range of choices of housing, with a strong emphasis on rental accommodation in well-located and managed complexes.

Transit-Oriented Development as an approach to combat traffic congestion and protect the environment has caught on. Johannesburg will make a decisive turn towards a low-carbon future with eco-efficient infrastructure that underpins a sustainable environment, and reduced cars on roads will save the environment as there will be lowered carbon emissions. The city will continue to lead South Africa towards a low-carbon economy – ensuring a sustainable future for all.

For residents, the opportunity to live near to public transport facilities, with easy access to places of work, will be life changing. Being forced to wake before sunrise to catch a bus, train or taxi and returning home after sunset – missing out on time with family – will be hardships of the past. Today, this is the reality for more than 1.3 million South Africans, who spend more than two hours a day travelling to and from their homes. To this can be added at least 30 minutes per trip spent walking to a station or stop and waiting for a bus or train to arrive. Financially, there will be benefits too. At present, soaring transport costs affect many pockets, and 16.4% of Gauteng residents spend more than 20% of their monthly income on travel.

Medium- and high-density housing will spring up along the transport arteries and around the transport hubs – linking home and work. Travel time will be significantly reduced because of shorter distances and more effective public transport. The cost of transport will be lowered leaving households with more money to spend on food, education, shelter and other basic necessities. The quality of life enjoyed by families will be improved because parents will be able to spend more time with their families, sharing experiences and supporting their children’s educational and leisure activities.