Creating a 30-year master plan for Johannesburg’s aerotropolis
An aerotropolis is a metropolitan subregion of which the infrastructure, land use, and economy are centred around an airport. The OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA), situated in the Ekurhuleni municipal area, is the largest and busiest airport in Africa.
Zutari led a multidisciplinary consortium that consisted of integrated urban and transport planners, financial and logistics experts, engineers, environmental managers, and market strategists to create a 30-year master plan that will increase the airport’s competitiveness in global markets.
The project also leverages the access that air travel and air freight provide to global clients, and optimises the positive effects the airport has on the economy and communities in South Africa.
The plan set out a detailed path for the Ekurhuleni aerotropolis to become a multifaceted development and a powerful engine for local economic development and job creation. In addition, the consortium’s integrated prioritisation approach had a tremendously positive impact on otherwise unrelated interests in Ekurhuleni. The land use component of the plan spurred new community investment and development initiatives.
The team made use of high-level tools such as spatial data analysis systems, sophisticated economic analysis systems, and transport modelling and planning systems to deliver the necessary innovation a project of this magnitude demands. The breadth of information and the sophistication with which it was analysed and integrated were critical to ensure that all opportunities were captured and optimised.
The consortium’s integrated prioritisation approach had a tremendously positive impact on otherwise unrelated interests in Ekurhuleni.
The consortium was the winner in the Private Sector category at the South African Planning Institute’s (SAPI’s) Prestigious Planning Awards in 2016.
Developing the plan was an immensely challenging process, given the complexity in collaborating with, and securing the buy-in of, a myriad of stakeholders and competing interests. The Ekurhuleni municipal area is home to more than 3 million residents and is one of the most densely populated areas in South Africa.
The plan, which was successfully delivered in June 2015, profoundly changed and positively enhanced the way Ekurhuleni and the Gauteng Province face the realities of future economic growth and positioned them in the global economy. It established the right steps for capturing opportunities in the municipality’s ambition to be the ‘Hub of Africa’.
The collaborative culture and absolute commitment to excellence made the consortium and the plan successful. At the heart of the aerotropolis solution is the potential to deliver economic, social, and environmental benefits for the people of South Africa.
What made the consortium successfully collaborate on this project, beyond the extensive technical expertise, was the collaborative culture and absolute focus on excellence. The consortium was the winner in the Private Sector category at the South African Planning Institute’s (SAPI’s) Prestigious Planning Awards in 2016.
*The Aurecon Africa business has been officially renamed Zutari as at 21 July 2020. Zutari acquired Aurecon Middle East on 20 November 2020.