J. Brooks Spector – Johannesburg’s New Towns: The Utopian Answer To The City’s Needs Or Another Problem To Fix?

Johannesburgdailymaverick.co.za. September 2014. For as long as people have been living in towns and cities, somebody has planned the urban space – perhaps just the way Kublai Khan did it for Xanadu. Build it here; don’t build there. Add a palace, a temple, walls, streets and bridges, homes for the rich, hovels for the poor, water, and – more recently – electricity, IT connectivity and Mag-Lev trains.

Recently, this writer came across a beautifully drawn 16th-century plan of the city of Milan. The way the city was depicted, Milan had a magnificent, balanced symmetry. Its walls were precisely designed to be works of architectural beauty as well as to offer enfilade fire on any would-be attackers. And there was a sumptuous ducal palace located in the northern quadrant of the city, balanced between East and West.

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