Our work in Soweto with the Global Future Cities Programme!

What is the Global Future Cities Programme

in 2015, the UK Government established the Prosperity Fund in order to help promote economic growth in developing countries. Its broad priorities include improving the business climate, competitiveness and operation of markets, energy and financial sector reform and in increasing the ability of Governments to tackle corruption. Although increasing numbers of developing countries and cities are able to finance their own development, many still face considerable challenges such as rapid urbanisation, climate change and high and persistent inequality which can lower long-term growth prospects, including in middle income countries where the majority of the urban poor reside. The Prosperity Fund supports the broad-based and inclusive growth needed for poverty reduction to make development sustainable.

The Global Future Cities Programme (GFCP) is a specific component of the Prosperity Fund, which aims to carry out technical assistance for a set of targeted interventions to encourage sustainable development and increase prosperity while alleviating high levels of urban poverty, in particular based on three thematic pillars: urban planning, transport and resilience. The Programme will also create significant short and long-term business opportunities in growing markets.


Strategic Area Framework and Associated Implementation Tools for Soweto “Triangle” in Johannesburg

In its Spatial Development Framework (SDF 2016), the City of Johannesburg identified Soweto as one of its key intervention areas. Soweto is mainly residential, lacking social services and employment opportunities. It has one of the highest population densities but the lowest concentration of formal jobs within Johannesburg. The area also faces environmental sensitivities and is prone to, amongst other issues, flooding. Nonetheless, the area has the potential of developing into a significant City district which can play a large role in contributing to economic growth. 


The Intervention aims to compile a development framework for a defined part of Soweto in line with the SDF. The study area (the ‘triangle’) is bounded by Van Onsellen Road to the north; Klipspruit Valley Road to the east; Chris Hani Road to the south and Koma Road and Elias Motsoaledi to the west. The plan should integrate the socio economic, environmental, spatial and transport challenges related to Soweto. The primary objective of this study is to define clearly a sustainable spatial and economic development vision and trajectory for the broader study area.

The secondary objective is to prioritise, package and design projects and interventions that will catalyse and support the achievement of the development vision and ideal land use mix.

VPUU’S role

To support the next phases of the Global Future Cities Programme (GFCP) through stakeholder engagement, community participation and participatory planning for the Soweto Strategic Area Framework in Johannesburg.