n Africa Insight - Towards the world-class African city : planning local economic development in Johannesburg

Volume 34, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


Local economic development is viewed as being of central importance for sustainable development. This paper examines the changing trajectories of local economic development in South Africa's major metropolitan centre, Johannesburg, which was one of the country's first localities to take up the task of LED planning. Specifically, the focus is on Johannesburg's LED as part of the search for the status of a 'world class African city'. The Johannesburg experience of LED represents a case of planning for local adjustment to globalisation and is of special interest to other large African cities, particularly those that potentially have more than a national role. The planning and urban management experiences of Johannesburg are of considerable interest and often are adopted or modified by other African cities. Two sets of discussion are provided here. The first contains a review and analysis of the shifting international debates concerning world cities. Against this backdrop, the second section of the paper examines Johannesburg's shifting local economic development initiatives, in particular from 1986 to the present day.

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