Race, space and the post-fordist spatial order of Johannesburg

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70 Citations (Scopus)


The deindustrialisation of Johannesburg has taken a particular spatial form. Service sector businesses are increasingly located in the mostly White northern suburbs, whereas the mostly Black southern suburbs bear the brunt of unemployment and increasingly resemble an excluded ghetto. Some authors argue that Johannesburg’s post-apartheid spatial order is just as racially unequal as it was during apartheid. This study tests this argument by using the results of the 2001 population census to examine the extent to which edge city development in Johannesburg is characterised by racial residential desegregation. The results show that the northern suburbs are undergoing
fairly substantial desegregation. To the extent that this trend continues, the geography of apartheid racial divisions will be eroded and Johannesburg’s racially-mixed edge city will become an exception among world cities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1692-1711
Number of pages20
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Edge City
  • Johannesburg
  • Fordist Spatial Order
  • post-Fordist spatial order
  • racial residential desegregation
  • racial inequality
  • deindustrialisation


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