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Welcome to SA&CP and NOVAYA Labs’ five-part blog series on data, spatial planning, and public and private sector investment for sustainable urban development, focusing on the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality.

The series explores how data has been used to drive strategic spatial planning, integrated development planning and investment from within the Metro.

We also track developments in open data in Johannesburg and South Africa, and how urban data has been leveraged by the private sector and civil society in South Africa.

Lastly, the blog explores the emerging research and investment opportunities created by applying data and plantech for strategic spatial planning, and the coordination of investment resources for urban development.

With thanks to Miriam Maina and Peter Magni

This is the final blog in our series on data, spatial planning, and public and private sector investment in the City of Johannesburg.

Towards a Third Wave of Open Data

In tracking the evolution of the ‘open data’ movement, sector experts at the Open Data Policy Lab propose that we are entering a ‘third wave’ of open data, which can be distinguished from the two previous waves by scale, scope, stakeholders involved, and potential applications.

In the first wave, data was shared on request, based on a ‘right to know’ basis. This…

By Peter Magni, with thanks to Miriam Maina

We live in an era of abundant data, but inequities and asymmetries in accessing this data have considerably stunted the collective capability to apply and re-use it for positive change. In this blog, we explore developments in Johannesburg and South Africa relating to the use, re-use, and application of urban data.

In previous blogs, we demonstrated how urban data is generated, utilised and shared internally in the City of Johannesburg to support planning, investment, and decision making, as well as for reporting and documenting impact. The South African data ecosystem also comprises…

By Peter Magni, with thanks to Miriam Maina

How the City generates and manages data

Managing a large city such as Johannesburg requires a significant volume of data and subsequent analysis of this data, for the coordination and management of land use, and the provision and operation of public infrastructure. Some data is needed to manage specific tasks, such as running a wastewater treatment plant. Some is necessary for long-term city planning; for example, population change and gross value added. The city needs urban data at varying degrees of detail and it must be collected longitudinally, to monitor and analyze…

With thanks to Peter Magni and Miriam Maina

Fixing Cities

Rapid urbanisation is acknowledged as a cause and manifestation of the world’s current environmental challenges. Creating a more sustainable global future will require creating, transforming, or retrofitting existing urban systems to achieve social, environmental, and economic sustainability.

This blog uses a ‘multiple level perspective’ as a prism through which to view processes of urban transformation. This perspective sees change being initiated in ‘niches’ such as organisations or locales, which must be accepted by the existing ‘regime’ — a local government, or a multinational company. …

Dr. Miriam M. Maina

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has been lauded for its potential to accelerate global social and economic transformation, raise income levels, and improve the quality of life. The 4IR is distinguished from previous industrial revolutions by increased fusion of technologies and the blurring of lines across the physical, digital and biological spheres. …


For transparent and data-driven urban transformation

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