Using Johannesburg's unoffical transport system is an adventure in itself. Here's a beginner's guide
Carless in Johannesburg. It could be the title of a low-budget horror movie. A huge, sprawling greater metropolitan area of about 10 million people covering more than 600 square miles, the city is built for the car. If you're not in one, good luck – even though most drivers will be stuck in gridlock. I've been here for a few weeks and my main exposure to the city has been on foot. And I'm not alone. The overwhelming majority of Jo'burgers are carless.
The 2010 World Cup has ended in South Africa. What's left behind are a number of physical and cultural legacies that will be both landmark developments and potential economic hazards.
There are no vuvuzelas. The plastic horns had been blaring at random throughout the city of Johannesburg for the entire month of the 2010 World Cup, which has just finished here in South Africa. They were even blaring the month before the Cup started -- in the middle of the morning, out of car windows on the freeway, inside the city's endless shopping malls. But now that it's over, the loud honk that had become a part of the city's background static has faded out.
A look at four interesting stadia designed for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and their uncertain futures after the Cup.
Americans do like soccer, contrary to what many around the world believe. American architects, though? Hard to say. But even for the most soccer-agnostic architects, there are four good reasons to watch — or at least glancingly pay attention to — this year’s World Cup in South Africa. Four of the 10 stadia designed or renovated for this year’s quadrennial World Cup really are worth checking out beyond the context of international soccer matches.
You really need to almost get hit by a car to feel like a true Johannesburg pedestrian. That's the way it goes here. A huge, sprawling greater metropolitan area of about 10 million people covering more than 600 square miles, the city is built for the car. And if you're not in one, good luck.
I've been here for a few weeks and I'll be here for a while longer. My main exposure to the city has been on foot. And I'm not alone. The World Cup is going on in South Africa, so there's a lot of excitement. There's also generally a ton of activity in this city, which is the economic heart of the country, and by extension the continent. These two situations combine to make the urban realm a bit hectic. And for those getting around on foot, that hectic atmosphere is often dangerous as well. But don't blame the World Cup, or Johannesburg's economic power. Blame the city's physical form.
Next month's World Cup in South Africa will bring a lot of attention to the country, and a lot of opportunity. Though many hope the country will see an economic benefit, the biggest impact is likely to be the creation of urban infrastructure.
In one month, the world's most popular sporting event will begin, drawing billions of spectators to screens all over the planet. In another month, it'll all be over.