February 2019 Newsletter

Entries for GCRO's Urban Gaze photography competition open

The GCRO has opened entries for digital photographs of the Gauteng City-Region and its people through the Urban Gaze photography competition. The competition was opened in December 2018 and will close on 31 March 2019. This is an opportunity for residents and visitors to capture how they perceive and experience the Gauteng City-Region. Photographs from the competition will be used by the GCRO to represent the region’s people and spaces in its publications. Substantial prizes for winning entries have been secured, and all shortlisted photographs will be exhibited at the Keyes Art Mile in Rosebank during the course of May 2019.

The GCRO's 5th biennial Quality of Life Survey (2017/18) was launched on 13 November 2018 at the University of Johannesburg’s Arts Centre Theatre. This high profile event was attended by over 200 invited guests and media personnel. Professor Daniel Mashao, the University of Johannesburg's Executive Dean of Engineering and the Built Environment, Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, DVC Research from the University of the Witwatersrand and Chair of the GCRO board, and Dr Rob Moore, GCRO's Executive Director, welcomed guests to the event. The main findings of the survey were presented by Graeme Gotz, the GCRO’s Research Director, with the Gauteng Premier David Makhura then responding to the results. The Premier indicated that the Quality of Life Survey results continue to shape government’s decisions and policies to improve the quality of life of the people of Gauteng. The results received extensive media coverage. The launch presentation and key insights from the data are available here. The dataset for this survey is now also being made available for non-commercial use by government, researchers and other interested stakeholders.

The GCRO’s report titled 'A framework for a green infrastructure approach in the Gauteng City-Region’ received an award for ‘Research in Sustainability’ in the 2017/18 Afrisam-SAIA Awards for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation in October 2018. The award recognises contributions that bring innovation and promote interdisciplinary learning and understanding of sustainability and sustainable agricultural practice. A video introducing the idea of green infrastructure as an approach to improving the environment, the economy and the quality of life of GCR residents can be viewed here, and a video about the award to GCRO can be seen here

GCRO saw a number of research outputs published during the second half of 2018. A book titled ‘Vernacular regeneration: Low-income housing, private policing and urban transformation in inner-city Johannesburg’ written by Dr Aidan Mosselson, a former post-doctoral fellow at the GCRO between early 2016 and late 2017, was published in September 2018. The book is based on Dr Mosselson’s PhD in Social Geography obtained at the University College London, and the bulk of it was written while he was at the GCRO. An occasional paper titled 'The Quality Of Life IV Survey (2015/16): City benchmarking report' was also published in September 2018. This report compares municipalities across the province using a number of key indicators from the 2015/16 survey data. The Quality of Life Survey IV (2015/16): Health data brief was published in December 2018 and presents some key insights into respondents’ access to and use of health facilities in Gauteng. Also look out for a new research report and two occasional papers to published in the next few weeks.

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