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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



Gold in the Witwatersrand has been the source of opportunities and challenges. While Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni face grave environmental challenges, including contaminated soils, acid mine drainage, undermined land and scarce water resources, it is also important to recognize the possibilities found in the existing regional infrastructure of pipelines and the large quantities of land being released for use. Currently operating gold mining companies recognize the environmental challenges they face and are actively pursuing more sustainable mining practices. Informal settlements are finding productive political strategies and are maintaining a positive entrepreneurial nature. The scarce water resources of the Witwatersrand are a critical entry point for landscape interventions, especially in relation to the provision of sanitation and the remediation of acid mine drainage. Can gold mining and informal settlements, two seemingly disparate players in the region, provide solutions for the future development of the “Ridge of White Waters”? [Illustration by Dorothy Tang & 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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