Urban Upgrading in Lesedi, South Africa

Topic: Developing Urban Design Frameworks for Lesedi Local Municipality in Sedibeng District, South Africa

Sponsor: South Africa Neighborhood Development Partnership Grant

Project Duration: 2011-2012


Lesedi, one of three municipalities that make up Sedibeng District, is a municipality of 75,000 people located 50 kilometers to the south of Johannesburg. Lesedi’s population is concentrated in a few small, isolated residential cities and townships, with 95% of the land area used for commercial agriculture.

The Challenge

While some areas are urbanizing, the local economy remains stagnant. Development in Lesedi is also hampered by the spatial segregation that resulted from the urban planning methods implemented during the apartheid period, in which separate townships were established for the African communities. These townships were physically disconnected from the economic hubs. As population grows in Lesedi and other townships, the pressure is mounting to improve the provision of infrastructure and services.

Our Initiative

Supported by South Africa’s Neighborhood Development Partnership Grant (NDPG), Lesedi Local Municipality contracted the South African engineering firm Worley Parsons RSA and I2UD to provide technical assistance to the Municipality. I2UD formulated development and urban design strategies to revitalize, upgrade and unify the area and take advantage of its strategic location within the larger region of Gauteng Province.

See photos from our trip to the Lesedi Townships

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