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Posted 02.24.11 | PERMALINK | ESSAY

Dorothy Tang & Andrew Watkins: Ecologies of Gold: The Past and Future Mining Landscapes of Johannesburg



Most underground gold mines ceased operations in the 1970s, leaving large tracts of land vacant in the mining belt. Since then, many of these areas have been converted to light industrial uses and have become important employment centers. Informal settlements have encroached on non-developed mining land, with residents living in close proximity to abandoned mining equipment and waste. The settlement shown here took over vacant land at the foot of a mine dump in Ekurhuleni. Due to low property values, mining companies had little incentive to spend money policing their unused land holdings, and after decades of illegal occupation, it is now very difficult for government entities in South Africa to relocate these communities. [Photo by Andrew Watkins]

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ABOUT THE ESSAY

Ecologies of Gold: The Past and Future Mining Landscapes of Johannesburg
On Places, Dorothy Tang and Andrew Watkins explore the ecological rehabilitation of the defunct gold mines of central Johannesburg.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dorothy Tang is an assistant professor of landscape architecture at the University of Hong Kong.
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Andrew Watkins is an architect and urban designer at SWA in Southern California.
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