19 October 2011

Urban Regeneration in Post-Apartheid Johannesburg

Taffy Adler, CEO, Housing Development Agency (HDA), South Africa

A free seminar hosted by the Sustainable Urban Regional Futures (SURF) Program, in conjunction with the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI)


Urban Regeneration in Post-Apartheid Johannesburg




12.00pm – 1.30 pm


RMIT City Campus, Building 8

Level 11, Room 68 (Lecture theatre)

342 Swanston Street, Melbourne Melbourne


Please RSVP via email by 15 November to Nicole.McGrath@rmit.edu.au

As Melbourne grapples with the complex and interwoven problems of accommodating an increasing population, growing inequalities and housing affordability issues, and multiple urban sustainability challenges, the knowledge to be gained from the experience of other cities and states becomes vital. South Africa, post-apartheid, provides us with an alternative perspective on urban development challenges - one that should be of great interest to academics and practitioners alike.

Taffy Adler (BA, B.Phil, M.Sc) is currently the founding Chief Executive Officer of the Housing Development Agency (HDA), a newly established, state-owned agency of the South African Government responsible for the acquisition of land to develop sustainable communities. The HDA has a mandate to provide housing services in the areas of informal settlement upgrade, unfinished projects and emergency housing to provincial and local governments. It is currently responsible for managing two of the largest housing developments in South Africa situated in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Further information on the HDA is available on their website: www.thehda.co.za. In this presentation, Mr Adler will focus on the establishment of social housing, the physical regeneration of neighbourhoods, and the development and consolidation of newly urbanising communities in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, South Africa’s most densley populated area.


12:00pm – 12:05 pm

Welcome, Prof Colin Fudge, RMIT University

12:05pm – 12:15pm

Introduction, Prof Rob Adams AM, City of Melbourne

12:15pm – 1:15pm

Mr Taffy Adler, CEO, South African Housing Development Agency

1:15pm – 1.30pm

Q&A introduced and facilitated by Prof Rob Adams AM

Closing remarks

Prof Rob Adams AM

Mr Adler brings over 30 years’ experience to his role at the HDA, notably as the Founding CEO of the Johannesburg Housing Company (JHC). JHC (www.jhc.co.za) is the 2006 recipient of the World Habitat Award, a prestigious annual award sponsored by the UN-HABITAT and the Building and Social Housing Foundation. He was the 2007 South African Social Entrepreneur of the Year and, until his appointment to HDA in 2009, has been an appointed advisor to every National Minister of Housing since the advent of democracy in South Africa in 1994. He was the founding chairperson of the eKhaya Neighbourhood Programme, the first residential improvement district organised in the inner city of Johannesburg, dedicated to uplifting Hillbrow, South Africa’s most densely populated flatland area. He is also an honourary Trustee of the Platinum Development Trust, and Chairman of the recently established ApexHi Charitable Trust. In 2009 he was appointed to the Global Agenda Council on Urban Management established by the World Economic Forum. In a previous life he lectured in History and Political Studies at the Universities of Cape Town and the Witwatersrand.

The Sustainable Urban Regional Futures (SURF) Program at RMIT University is dedicated to tackling the many challenges facing cities in an era of climate change. It comprises over 70 researchers from across RMIT’s major Institutes, Centres, Programs and research units who collaborate on a range of projects under seven major themes:

  1. Housing and Urban Planning;
  2. Climate Change and Social Context;
  3. Urban and Regional Transitions;
  4. Learning Cities;
  5. Urban Metabolism and Low Carbon Systems;
  6. Sustainable Business Practices; and
  7. Sustainable Built Environments.

For further information on the SURF Program, go to www.global-cities.info/surf.

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