utopia/dystopias: investigating planning frameworks & how they impact evictions

In 2014, the Johannesburg city council set forth to complete the Spatial Development Plan for the city of Johannesburg by 2040. Which envisions the densification and service of high density and single use portions of the city and direct future city growth towards the core of the Johannesburg CBD and connect important infrastructural arteries throughout the city. However, on the ground realities differ from this vision for an inclusive city. The Socio-Economic Rights Institute in Johannesburg, similar to Reclaim the city, in Cape Town, is a human rights organization that works with individuals and non-profit organizations to challenge inequality and Socio-Economic Rights in South Africa. They have written up several case studies detailing the relocation of members in the Johannesburg CBD to shelter homes in close proximity to their areas of eviction, as well as the daily lives of the inhabitants in these homes. Unfortunately, the inhabitants in these new structures all elaborate on a lack of services and poor living conditions within each structure. The thesis, therefore, explores themes of the Utopian planning framework that the city envisions for its inhabitants. Juxtaposed by the Dystopian on the ground reality that specific groups face in the Johannesburg C.B.D. The theoretical framework draws, heavily, on the Utopian Ideologies that, author, and social philosopher, Sir Thomas More adopted in his 1516 novel, ‘Utopia’. As well as the Dystopian Ideologies that English novelist, George Orwell, portrays in his 1949 science-fiction novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’. This will be further explored through the techno-Utopian Ideologies of Hungarian- French Architect to uncover methods and strategies of creating self-governing autonomous spaces for individuals and their families.

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daanyaal kassim