by Tia

The vision for a pedestrian-centered, functional Randburg CBD is on the cards after the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) completed site establishment to upgrade the Bram Fischer and Jan Smuts intersection.

The mobility spines in the Randburg CBD are Bram Fischer,  Republic and Jan Smuts which play a critical role in connecting Randburg to several other decentralised nodes.

The intersection of Bram Fischer Drive and Jan Smuts Avenue is a key touchpoint, connecting Hill Street to the core of the Civic Triangle and the planned Selkirk Housing at the southern base.

The JDA is the infrastructure arm of the City of Johannesburg and will implement the upgrades of Bram Fischer and Jan Smuts intersection as part of the Urban Development Framework (UDF) for the Randburg CBD.

The UDF aims to provide a medium to long-term strategic direction to ensure integrated and sustainable development, protect and enhance land value, encourage densification, diversification, and intensification, preserve the natural environment and promote pedestrian and NMT activities while reducing reliance on cars.

The upgrading of Bram Fischer and Jan Smuts intersection will enhance pedestrian and vehicle movement, improve the quality of the public environment, and promote the development of a compact, pedestrian-friendly environment.

The upgrades will include a raised pedestrian crossing from the market to Hill Street Mall, introducing traffic calming measures such as paved intersections and highlighting pedestrian crossing points.

The upgrades will also incorporate street furniture elements such as feature lighting, bins, benches, and bollards and introduce soft landscaping.

The Randburg CBD clocktower upgrade is on the cards as part of the scope. The current structure will be cladded to give it a modern look. The clocktower will feature coloured lighting with the new enclosed section to draw attention at night. 

The JDA also plays a key role in greening of Joburg’s public spaces through its public environment upgrades. The agency has also taken the lead in a number of park upgrade and creation projects across the city.

The upgrading of Bram Fischer and Jan Smuts intersection will also see several trees and greenery implemented as part of the landscaping design.

“The catalytic interventions of the Bram Fischer and Jan Smuts intersection upgrades will see the CBD turn into a high-quality environment and enhanced pedestrian experience, featuring wider sidewalks, pedestrian lighting, landscape, trees, and natural elements,” said acting CEO Siyabonga Genu.

The JDA’s objective is to deliver this public infrastructure project using labour-intensive methods with the aim of job creation and income generation through an Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) approach.

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