Projected to accommodate at least 22,500 households by 2023, Lufhereng is called the City of Johannesburg's biggest integrated development. Emphasising both mixed income housing and economic activity, the provincial authority considers Lufhereng 'a blue-print', showcasing 'exactly the type of ground-breaking project that Gauteng Province needs to lead sustainable economic growth and ensure future prosperity'. Located on the western edge of Soweto the development is argued by Provincial planners to be a natural extension of the township originating under segregationist South Africa, yet from a City perspective it has been an outlying locale of low development priority. To counter its spatial disconnect from significant employment nodes the Province and the City propose inter alia both subsistence farming and commercial agriculture to 'become an economic catalyst for the region'. A significant proportion of Lufhereng's population will be at the very bottom of the income spectrum in fully state subsidized houses. Drawing on studies of lived experiences of subsidized housing in South Africa this paper shows the relevance for megaprojects of the concepts of 'invented co-production' and 'incubator urbanism'. Invented co-production refers to residents' unplanned modifications of their built environment or reshaping of their household, evident in other low income housing interactions and likely to emerge in megaprojects despite their highly planned and controlled ambitions. Incubator urbanism re-centres attention on the importance of underlying infrastructure to poor households despite locational and economic disconnects. These two concepts, apparent in Lufhereng, both challenge yet also feed into the conceptualizations of forthcoming megaprojects.


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pp. 85-110
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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